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Debt - Updated and Expanded

The First 5,000 Years
Autor: David Graeber
Sprecher: Grover Gardner
Spieldauer: 17 Std. und 48 Min.
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 Bewertungen)
Regulärer Preis: 30,95 €
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Inhaltsangabe

Now in audio, the updated and expanded edition: David Graeber's "fresh...fascinating...thought-provoking...and exceedingly timely" (Financial Times) history of debt.

Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt. 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 brilliantly 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. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.

©2014 David Graeber (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC

Kritikerstimmen

"Controversial and thought-provoking, an excellent book." (Booklist)

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Re-imagine...

"There is a shape to the past, and it is only by understanding it that we can begin to have a sense of the historical opportunities that exist in the present." - David Gaeber

After "the collapse of our collective imagination", the author has undertaken the bold enterprise to unleash our visions: setting the 2008 historical break into perspective by composing a history of money and economy - on the broadest historical scale, as a history of credit and debt across 5 millennia. While economists get caught up in mathematical models, "arranging data around equations", and historians - due to lack of evidence - often treat institutions of social life in ancient times as non-existent, the anthropologist is less shy to develop a grand narrative with large rhythms and long durée.

The history of money is more than "a history of coinage" - credit arrangements simply do not leave physical traces. Nonetheless, they were prevailing, as Graeber demonstrates by diving deep into the earliest written records. He puts the "myth of barter" to final rest. The assumption that barter came before coins was the pillar of liberal and neoliberal thought and has for a century been contested against by ethnologists, while being copy-pasted in all introductions to economy.

Market and Economy, though, are not the same thing, and markets do not spring up by divine providence. Graeber raises big questions and dismantles moral discourses about debt and credit to put them into a wider context - the entanglement of military-coinage-power complexes, the role of administration, bureaucracy and religion in various different cultures and regions of the world; equality versus inequality, and the unsettling parallels of wage labour to slavery.

Indeed, a general history of economy can only be a history of morality. Graeber is not the first to combine historical insight with ethnology, but the level, depth and broadth of discussion is outstanding. How are debt, work, money, growth and the economy really linked together? Is economy really separable from other spheres of social life? What's the impact of money on social life? How come we have arrived at the point where we are? This book offers a moral reassessment which nourishes our mutilated sense of possibilities. It is extremeley refreshing and empowering to begin to understand the context of conditions today and to perceive of oneself as a historical actor, since yes: history isn't over...

The most thorough book I have ever read about the origins of money, extremely thought-provoking.
I have enjoyed this mental journey. Coming from the ancient history department, I fully embrace David Graeber's approach of a grand narrative, his work highlights the impact of history for understanding the PRESENT.

Grover Gardner's performance is engaging and helped me to better grasp the contents by his vivid interpretation, his voice puts the text to life.