The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

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Penguin Books, 2009 - History - 442 pages
28 Reviews
Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. But historian Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history. Through Ferguson's expert lens, for example, the civilization of the Renaissance looks very different: a boom in the market for art and architecture made possible when Italian bankers adopted Arabic mathematics. The rise of the Dutch republic is reinterpreted as the triumph of the world's first modern bond market over insolvent Habsburg absolutism. Yet the central lesson of financial history is that, sooner or later, every bubble bursts.--From publisher description.

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User Review  - deldevries - LibraryThing

Are you tired of financial news? The past years have provided a continuing stream of financial problems from the United States and around the world. It might be time to update your news perspective by ... Read full review

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User Review  - justindtapp - LibraryThing

I'm recommending we require all Eco/Fin majors by this and that we use chapters of it for all the appropriate classes. PBS has also made a documentary of it, so it'd be like using Commanding Heights ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Niall Ferguson is one of the world's most renowned historians. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization, The Great Degeneration, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, and The Square and the Tower. He is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. His many awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

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