Logo
Debt
DownloadHi-Res Book Cover
up
186 users have voted.

Debt

Sub title: The First 5000 Years

Author: David Graeber

Must we always repay our debts? Wasn’t money invented to replace ancient barter systems? Apparently not, according to Yale-bred anthropologist David Graeber. In a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom, Graeber radically challenges our understanding of debt. He illustrates how, for more than 5000 years—long before the invention of coins or bills—there existed debtors and creditors who used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods. He argues that Madagascar was held to be indebted to France because France invaded it, reminds us that texts from Vedic India included God in credit systems and shows how the dollar changed European society forever in the sixteenth century. He also brilliantly demonstrates how 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. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—of how it has defined the evolution of human society, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.

Ebook Available

Book Reviews

“In the best tradition of anthropology, Graeber treats debt ceilings, subprime mortgages and credit default swaps as if they were the exotic practices of some self-destructive tribe. Written in a brash, engaging style, the book is also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of debt — where it came from and how it evolved.” – Thomas Meaney, The New York Times
“One of the year’s most influential books. Graeber situates the emergence of credit within the rise of class society, the destruction of societies based on ‘webs of mutual commitment’ and the constantly implied threat of physical violence that lies behind all social relations based on money.” —Paul Mason, The Guardian
"If you want to get a fresh perspective on the issue, take a look at a fascinating new book called Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber ... not just thought-provoking, but also exceedingly timely." — Gillian Tett, The Financial Times
“The book is more readable and entertaining than I can indicate... It is a meditation on debt, tribute, gifts, religion and the false history of money. Graeber is a scholarly
researcher, an activist and a public intellectual. His field is the whole history of social and economic transactions.” —Peter Carey, The Observer

User Reviews

This Book Has No User Review.

You Might Also Like More

The story of Michael Lewis' new book is so hot...
Flash Boys
Michael Lewis
In <em>The Professional</em>, one of the biggest-s...
The Professional Companion
Subroto Bagchi
He is Eka-vachani, a king who always keeps his wor...
The Book of Ram
Devdutt Pattanaik
"In Wine Wisdom, certified sommelier Magandeep Sin...
Wine Wisdom
Magandeep Singh

Published by

Penguin Books India

Published

17 Sep 2012

Imprint

Allen Lane

ISBN13

9780670086528

Book Format

Royal

Extent

544pp

Rights

Indian Subcontinent only

Category

Non-Fiction

Binding

Hardback

Language

English

Price (Rs.)

799.00

More about the Author

Penguin Random House

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the Penguin App
to read an exclusive excerpt

Penguin App