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Set in the 17th century, this is the true story of John Law, mathematical genius, duellist, inveterate gambler, womaniser and inventor of the first paper money.
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In 1683, 12-year-old John Law inherited an estate from his father, an Edinburgh goldsmith. Within a few years, the young Law was enjoying London's highlife and paying the price, with his legacy quickly running low. His solution? Learn how to gamble scientifically. This he did with startling thoroughness, visiting Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Venice, Genoa; learning their economic systems and en route gaining a reputation as a state-of-the-art Enlightenment cad--liaisons, duelling, haute couture and, of course, the cards. His success in bluffing and bargaining at the card table put another idea in his head: why should banks issue paper money, to combat the endemic, persistent need for gold and silver? After persuading Louis XV, Law introduced this system to a private bank in France; his success grew with the first multinational trading company, the Mississippi. But, of course, with every boom there's a crash , and Law's had been the mother of all booms.
With her previous book, the best selling The Arcanum, antiques expert Janet Gleeson proved that she had an eye for a good story, and a real flair for telling it clearly and economically. And The Moneymaker is a good story, well told, of modern banking's debt to the skill of the professional gambler. Understandably, there¹s some simplification of the status of money in the 17th and 18th centuries--a time when many people were still quite happy with mutually reciprocal credit arrangements--but in some ways, Gleeson goes beyond simply recreating the ostensible period of the book. Law's life has been told many times since the first biography in 1721; Gleeson's skill here is to realise its importance today, and to suggest its modern resonances-- as currencies disappear and markets crash with alarming regularity--without ever hammering them home. It's a fascinating tale. --Alan StewartReview:
"'Excellent . . . Gleeson is exemplary in her lucidity. If you can imagine Keynes' General Theory rewritten by the Marx Brothers you will have some idea of this remarkable book.'" (The Sunday Times)
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Book Description BANTAM PRESS, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0593044983
Book Description BANTAM PRESS. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0593044983 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1163724