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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Ferguson, Niall

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9781594201929: The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

From the bestselling author of Empire, Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World shows that the history of money is the back-story to all history.

Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot. Call it what you like, it matters now more than ever.

From the banking dynasty who funded the Italian Renaissance to the stock market bubble that caused the French Revolution, this is the story of booms and busts as it's never been told before.

With the world in the grip of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, there's never been a better time to understand the ascent - and descent - of money.

'Beautifully written ... Breathtakingly clever'
  Sunday Telegraph

'A lucid and racy account of financial history'
  New Statesman

'A fine, readable and entertaining history'
  Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

'The tales he tells of boom and bust, of triumph and disaster, of bubbles that inflate ... are the very essence of financial history'
  Bill Emmott, Financial Times

'An often enlightening and enjoyable tour through the underside of great events, a lesson in how the most successful great powers have always been underpinned by smart money'
  Robert Skidelsky, New York Review of Books

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Civilization, The House of Rothschild, The Cash Nexus, The Pity of War, Colossus, The War of the World and Empire.

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Review:

The hardback publication of Niall Ferguson's book was prophetic, but this edition - topped and tailed with a passionate, closely argued call for us to educate ourselves about financial markets - could not be more timely (Tony Clements Telegraph)

Dazzling ... extraordinarily timely (Martin Vander Weyer Spectator)

A whistle-stop tour of the historical events that gave us the financial system we have today ... To Niall Ferguson's list of talents we can now add great timing (Stephanie Flanders Mail on Sunday)

Ferguson is the most brilliant British historian of his generation ... he writes with splendid panache ( Times)

Ferguson's powers are on formidable display (Tristram Hunt Observer)

Wonderfully accessible ... Ferguson is spot on (Allister Heath Literary Review)

A fine history ... told with verve and insight ( Daily Telegraph)

One of the world's leading historians (Hamish McRae Independent)

Review:

'From clay tables to loan securitisation, this fine history reveals trust as central to the power of finance ... told with verve and insight ... [Niall Ferguson] is a fine analyst of the financial vertebrae that make up the backbone of human history'

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. 234 x 163 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Watch the PBS program based on The Ascent of Money. 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 on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. 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 in The Ascent of Money, Niall 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 familiar historical landmarks appear in a new and sharper financial focus. Suddenly, 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. And the origins of the French Revolution are traced back to a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scot murderer. With the clarity and verve for which he is known, Ferguson elucidates key financial institutions and concepts by showing where they came from. What is money? What do banks do? What s the difference between a stock and a bond? Why buy insurance or real estate? And what exactly does a hedge fund do? This is history for the present. Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can t provide adequate protection against catastrophe. He delves into the origins of the subprime mortgage crisis. Perhaps most important, The Ascent of Money documents how a new financial revolution is propelling the world s biggest countries, India and China, from poverty to wealth in the space of a single generation--an economic transformation unprecedented in human history. Yet the central lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts--sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers, sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that s why, whether you re scraping by or rolling in it, there s never been a better time to understand the ascent of money. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781594201929

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