Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Melville House, 2011 - 534 sider
Before there was money, there was debt
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 for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings 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 argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.
Debt: The First 5,000 Yearsis a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—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.
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LibraryThing ReviewBrugeranmeldelse - 2wonderY - LibraryThing
This is such a dense and encompassing work that all I have been able to do is sample it. Nonetheless, every page holds something interesting. Quite refreshing. I must try to finish it, but the library wants it back. Læs hele anmeldelsen
LibraryThing ReviewBrugeranmeldelse - Urbandale - LibraryThing
The most informative book I've read in the last few years. It's a very wide-ranging look at the way debt historically interplays with society(and government), and spend large portions of time ... Læs hele anmeldelsen