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Debt: the first 5000 years

Graeber, David (2011) Debt: the first 5000 years. Melville House, Brooklyn, New York, USA. ISBN 9781933633862

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Abstract

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, during the beginning of the agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems. 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 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.

Item Type: Book
Official URL: http://www.mhpbooks.com/
Additional Information: © 2011 Melville House Books
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 11:33
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 23:31
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/53184

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