The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession, 2nd Edition
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Other Available Formats: Paperback
From the New Foreword by Paul Volcker
This bestselling book reveals a record of human nature in the ubiquity of gold with a new foreword by Paul Volcker
In this exciting book, the late Peter L. Bernstein tells the story of history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset: gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through the modern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath, gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a bad end. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation may reverberate in today's fast-moving, electronically-driven markets, the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking feature of this tumultuous tale. Such is the power of gold.
Whether it is Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, the luxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor of paper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hardnosed believers in the international gold standard, gold has been the supreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem of rectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of power that has shaped the destiny of humanity through the ages.
- Discusses the beginnings of gold as something with magical, religious, and artistic qualities and follows its trail as we progress to the invention of coinage, the transformation of gold into money, and the gold standard
- Other bestselling books by the late Peter Bernstein: Against the Gods, Capital Ideas, and Capital Ideas Evolving
- Contemplates gold from the diverse perspectives of monarchs and moneyers, potentates and politicians, men of legendary wealth and others of more plebeian beginnings
Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, and the history of money and power struggles, The Power of Gold suggests that the true significance of this infamous element may lie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what this reveals about ourselves.