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Money

Money

The True Story of a Made-Up Thing

The co-host of the popular NPR podcast Planet Money provides a well-researched, entertaining, somewhat irreverent look at how money is a made-up thing that has evolved over time to suit humanity’s changing needs.

Money only works because we all agree to believe in it. In Money, Jacob Goldstein shows how money is a useful fiction that has shaped societies for thousands of years, from the rise of coins in ancient Greece to the first stock market in Amsterdam to the emergence of shadow banking in the 21st century.

At the heart of the story are the fringe thinkers and world leaders who reimagined money. Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor, created paper money backed by nothing, centuries before it appeared in the west. John Law, a professional gambler and convicted murderer, brought modern money to France (and destroyed the country’s economy). The cypherpunks, a group of radical libertarian computer programmers, paved the way for bitcoin.

One thing they all realized: what counts as money (and what doesn’t) is the result of choices we make, and those choices have a profound effect on who gets more stuff and who gets less, who gets to take risks when times are good, and who gets screwed when things go bad.

Lively, accessible, and full of interesting details (like the 43-pound copper coins that 17th-century Swedes carried strapped to their backs), Money is the story of the choices that gave us money as we know it today.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Business & Economics / Money & Monetary Policy

On Sale: September 8th 2020

Price: $14.99 / $18.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9780316417181

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Selection in Business & Economics
"Jacob Goldstein is a lucid, entertaining explainer of all things economic."
Ira Glass, host and producer of "This American Life"
"Jacob Goldstein of 'Planet Money' has a remarkable gift for making complicated economic issues beguilingly simple. He has written a wonderfully entertaining, freewheeling history of money, told with all the verve and wit and smart insights that have made his NPR show such a success."—Liaquat Ahamed, author of Pulitzer Prize winner Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World
"It is rare for a work on a subject so fraught with interpretation and misinterpretation to be both funny and accessible, beautiful and conversational, but Goldstein's Money hits the bullseye in every respect. It made me look at my wallet and its musty contents with fresh eyes. A must-read."
Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestsellers Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
"Goldstein is a master storyteller who weaves an intriguing tale of how money and economic systems rose, fell, and rose again. In his hands, money disappears and the personalities and motives of centuries-old influencers emerge in vivid detail to paint a picture of the history that has given us our current monetary system."
Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan
"A brisk, brightly told history....Goldstein deftly clarifies economic concepts....An informative primer from a genial guide."
Kirkus Reviews
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