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Debt: The First 5000 Years (updated edition)

£17.99

Product Information

"Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There's not a shred of evidence to support it.

Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that 5,000 years ago, since the beginning of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber shows, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.

With the passage of time, however, virtual credit money was replaced by gold and silver coins—and the system as a whole began to decline. Interest rates spiked and the indebted became slaves. And the system perpetuated itself with tremendously violent consequences, with only the rare intervention of kings and churches keeping the system from spiraling out of control. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known story—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy."

David Graeber. Melville House, updated and expanded edition, 2015.

Product Code: 9781612194196

 

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