Front cover image for The power of gold : the history of an obsession

The power of gold : the history of an obsession

This volume recounts the timeless story of our obsession with gold. Mixing myth, legend, and historical fact, the author looks at the people, places, and events that have evoked desperation and frustration in human behavior. Starting with a broad palette of colorful characters, Pharaoh Hatshepsut, King Midas, Alexander the Great, Emperor Justinian, the Inca Emperor Atahualpa, Martin Luther, Kublai Khan, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charles De Gaulle, the author recounts the sequence of events that led to gold becoming the international monetary standard in the 19th Century only to fall to obscurity amid the collapse of the Bretton Woods System in 1971. This is the story of people so blinded in their pursuit of gold that they could not comprehend the difference between useless metal and real wealth
Print Book, English, ©2000
Wiley, New York, ©2000
xiv, 432 pages ; 24 cm
9780471252108, 9780471003786, 9780471436591, 0471252107, 0471003786, 0471436593
Prologue: The supreme possession
Get gold at all hazards
Midas's wish and the creatures of pure chance
Darius's bathtub and the cackling of the geese
The symbol and the faith
Gold, salt, and the blessed town
The legacy of Eoba, Babba, and Udd
The great chain reaction
The disintegrating age and the Kings' ransoms
The sacred thirst
The fatal poison and private money
The Asian necropolis and Hien Tsung's inadvertent innovation
The great recoinage and the last of the magicians
The true doctrine and the great evil
The new mistress and the cursed discovery
The badge of honor
The most stupendous conspiracy and the endless chain
The Norman Conquest
The end of the epoch
The transcending value
World War Eight and the thirty ounces of gold
Epilogue: The supreme possession?