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Graeber, David
Debt : the first 5,000 years / David Graeber
Brooklyn, N.Y. : Melville House, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  HG3701 .G73 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Debt -- History
Money -- History
Financial crises -- History
Physical Description 534 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. [455]-492) and index
Contents On the experience of moral confusion -- The myth of barter -- Primordial debts -- Cruelty and redemption -- A brief treatise on the moral grounds of economic relations -- Games with sex and death -- Honor and degradation, or, on the foundations of contemporary civilization -- Credit versus bullion, and the cycles of history -- The axial age (800 BC-600 AD) -- The middle ages (600 AD-1450 AD) -- Age of the great capitalist empires (1450-1971) -- (1971 : the beginning of something yet to be determined)
Summary 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. Without knowing it, we are still fighting these battles today. --
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. --Book Jacket

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