The Ascent of Money

The Ascent of Money

A Financial History of the World

eBook - 2008
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The 10th anniversary edition, with new chapters on the crash, Chimerica, and cryptocurrency

In this updated edition, Niall Ferguson brings his classic financial history of the world up to the present day, tackling the populist backlash that followed the 2008 crisis, the descent of "Chimerica" into a trade war, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, with his signature clarity and expert lens.

The Ascent of Money reveals finance as the backbone of history, casting a new light on familiar events: the Renaissance enabled by Italian foreign exchange dealers, the French Revolution traced back to a stock market bubble, the 2008 crisis traced from America's bankruptcy capital, Memphis, to China's boomtown, Chongqing. We may resent the plutocrats of Wall Street but, as Ferguson argues, the evolution of finance has rivaled the importance of any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. Indeed, to study the ascent and descent of money is to study the rise and fall of Western power itself.
Publisher: New York : Penguin, 2008.
ISBN: 9781440654022
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 electronic text.


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May 30, 2016

Very easy to read. A good introduction to the history of finance, money, and economics.

Not really an academic piece to quote or cite, but offers a lot of knowledge and insight into the role money plays in history and our life.

May 23, 2016

Readers who are more sensitive to any implicit support of social injustice may wish to learn more on the subject of finance from some other library book.

Nov 11, 2015

Enjoyed the history behind money. It is written in a very readable style.

Apr 20, 2013

This book should rightfully be titled: "The Harvard Theory of Money" - - to read the real history of money, you might check out Ellen Brown's "The Web of Debt" for authentic historicity. Ferguson is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee ( the lobbyist group for the international super-rich, which has various academics as targeted members to espouse their agenda. Ferguson's mutli-volume (and authorized) puff piece on the Rothschild family is sorely and sadly lacking in background information, although Ferguson attacks David Ickes in the forward to the first volume (I had to look up who the heck Ickes is, and then ponder why Ferguson would mention him??????).

Jan 31, 2013

This is a great book! Unfortunately the publisher saved money by using a spell checker instead of a proof reader. The use of a spell checker instead of a proof reader is an ever more common occurence. What a shame (as it diminishes the quality of the work)! A spellchecker cannot tell the difference between a misspelled (but otherwise existing) word, e.g. heath (instead of health) or that (instead of than). It can also not detect redundant words (i.e. the inappropriate repetition of the same word), or missing words. A spell checker cannot detect the ccidental doubling of a word. A spell checker cannot detect missing words. A spell checker cannot detect wrong syntax. Moreover, when the wrong word (e.g. stability instead of instability) is used a spellchecker is useless. Book prices have gone through the roof in the last few decades and by and large we are offered inferior quality: All the mistakes a spell checker cannot detect slow down one's reading speed. It's absolutely appalling.

Jan 15, 2011

This book describes the history of financial innovation as an evolutionary process mirroring our cultural evolution over the past 700 years. I wonder if this is a strictly economic assessment and what a similar history of social, cultural, legal, or political innovation, studying an altogether different human subject, would produce. From a legal standpoint, financial evolution is a process of breaking down legal barriers, which implies a re-ordering of what is acceptable. In this sense, the result is terrifying in that it implies a greater acceptance of how we manage priorities and risk as a society through ill-fated financial gambits. On the other hand, maybe this is more of an analysis of an ethereal merchant class which, brandishing the science of economics, has come to wield a great deal of structural and productive power in our particular cultural climate. But can this class, in an age where people and citizens are increasingly investors and property owners, be easily distinguished from any other? Is legal change actually analogous to cultural evolution? If so, why? If not, how do we distinguish between them?

Sep 28, 2010

Entertaining and informative. This is a great quick introduction to the financial system. I'd recommend it to almost anyone who wants to understand the key role economics has played in world history.

Sep 29, 2009

interesting stories

Feb 23, 2009

good to get the historical perspective, but a bit like reading a TV program

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