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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Ferguson, Niall

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A richly original look at the origins of money and how it makes the world go ?round

Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What?s more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. As Ferguson traces the crisis from ancient Egypt?s Memphis to today?s Chongqing, he offers bold and compelling new insights into the rise? and fall?of not just money but Western power as well.

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About the Author:

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, and Colossus, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented three highly successful television documentary series for British television: Empire, American Colossus, and, most recently, The War of the World.

From AudioFile:

Who knew there was a financial subtext to MARY POPPINS? Niall Ferguson--apparently--who explains that the children's classic makes the important point about banking that a bank's success is based on a fragile faith. And it's that same faith--in coins, in paper, and now in virtual banking--that lets us believe that money exists even though we don't much see it anymore. Written before the current downturn, yet seeming to predict it, the book explains that the popping sound you hear is when the "belief bubble" bursts (and Ferguson profiles some massive bubble makers). Narrator Simon Prebble moves along this metaphysical history of dinero with command, authority, and a BBC accent. His tone and timing add an element of class to the project. It's sort of like sitting in on a really fab Oxford lecture. R.W.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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