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9781410415332

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Thorndike Nonfiction)

Ferguson, Niall Author

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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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Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot: 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 labour. 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 back-story behind all history. The evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization, from ancient Babylon to the silver mines of Bolivia.Banks provided the material basis for the splendours of the Italian Renaissance, while the bond market was the decisive factor in conflicts from the Seven Years' War to the American Civil War. With the clarity and verve for which he is famed, Niall Ferguson explains why the origins of the French Revolution lie in a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scots murderer. He shows how financial failure turned Argentina from the world's sixth richest country into an inflation-ridden basket case - and how a financial revolution is propelling the world's most populous country from poverty to power in a single generation. Yet the most important 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.

About the Author:

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 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, Colossus and The War of the World, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. He has written and presented four highly successful television documentary series for Channel 4: Empire, American Colossus, The War of the World and, most recently, The Ascent of Money. He, his wife and three children divide their time between the United Kingdom and the United States.

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