The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--and the Coming Cashless Society

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9780306821479: The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--and the Coming Cashless Society


For ages, money has been represented by little metal disks and rectangular slips of paper. Yet the usefulness of physical money—to say nothing of its value—is coming under fire as never before. Intrigued by the distinct possibility that cash will soon disappear, author and Wired contributing editor David Wolman sets out to investigate the future of money and how it will affect your wallet.

Told with verve and wit, The End of Money explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You'll never look at a dollar bill the same way again.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: Say good-bye to your beloved Benjamins, because the world is going cashless. So says David Wolman, and in The End of Money, he explores the drastic implications. How is it happening? What's at stake? Why does it matter? Each chapter of this timely and fascinating book focuses on a specific aspect of the coming cashlessness. Its cast of compelling characters includes an end-times fundamentalist who views the growing obsolescence of cash as a sign of the coming rapture; an Icelandic artist whose claim to fame illustrates the complicated relationship between cash and nationalism; an American libertarian and coin-maker convicted on federal charges for the distribution of "Liberty" coins and Ron Paul dollars; and an Indian software engineer (self-billed as "the assassin of cash") whose firm is enabling digital payment methods that are lifting the living standards of thousands of poor New Dehli residents via their cell phones. Raising the stakes with a personal experiment, Wolman goes (almost) a full year without using cash at all. All told, The End of Money offers everything there is to love about popular nonfiction, rendering a complex subject entertaining and easily approachable for a wide audience while proving the ultimate adventurousness inherent in a curiosity about the workings of the world. --Jason Kirk

About the Author:

David Wolman is a contributing editor at Wired. He has written for such publications as OutsideMother JonesNewsweekDiscoverForbes, and Salon, and his work appeared in Best American Science Writing 2009. A former Fulbright journalism fellow in Japan and graduate of Stanford University's journalism program, he now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he received a 2011 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. His previous books are A Left-Hand Turn Around the World and Righting the Mother Tongue. Visit his website at www.david-wolman.com and follow him on Twitter at @davidwolman.

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