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Customer Review

on 28 September 2011
To me the cover of this book makes it look rather dry and serious. But really, its a highly enjoyable romp through money's past. I appreciate that this sounds dismissive, but its not meant to. The book does lack the intellectual depth and rigour of say, fellow anthroplogist Greaber's 'Debt - the first 5000 years', or economic historian Davies' 'A History of Money'. Nevertheless, if what Weatherford set out to do was write an engaging and readable history in 250 odd pages, then he has succeeded.

The book is divided into three parts. The first 'Classic Cash' grips you with gory detail about exchange in the ancient and medieval world. The second 'Paper Money' gives a bird's eye view of money from around the time of the reformation and through the industrial revolution. The third is 'Electronic Cash' where Weatherford brings us up to date and even speculates on the future a little.

I can't see this book being quoted in academic works, or appearing in too many bibliographies. However, bringing the history of money to a wider public is hugely important, and this book is a noble effort. If you're going to do an economics 101, or any finance related course, it'll put things in perspective for you.

I enjoyed it. And I recommend it.
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4.6 out of 5 stars