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Debt : the first 5,000 years

Author: David Graeber
Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Melville House, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a 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.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David Graeber
ISBN: 9781933633862 1933633867 9781612191294 1612191290
OCLC Number: 426794447
Description: 534 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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- ).
Responsibility: David Graeber.

Abstract:

Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a 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 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.

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it's good to see

by zincsulphate (WorldCat user published 2013-01-14) Fair Permalink

 

This book led me to re-think some of the fundamental aspects I have always thought our modern society is based upon: the basis of the current monetary system, market economies, the illusion of barter markets and most fundamentaly the way that debt is intertwined into the fabric of human...
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