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Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775-1821 Paperback – October 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In lucid, enjoyable, often humorous language, Selgin takes us from the 'dark satanic mills' to the backstreet haunts of the eighteenth-century counterfeiter and the private, legitimate mints, set up to address a problem the Royal Mint could or would not - the production of safe small change for the people. His cast of characters is large and auspicious: Thomas, Williams, James Watt, John Westwood, and Matthew Boulton. And Selgin's understanding of eighteenth-century economic theory and practice is absolute, allowing him to write with verve and clarity." - Richard Doty, Curator of Numismatics, Smithsonian Institution" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

George Selgin is a research fellow at the Independent Institute and a professor of economics at the University of Georgia. He has contributed to numerous journals, including the Economic Journal, the Economic History Review, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He is also the coeditor of Econ Journal Watch and the author of Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order, Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy, and The Theory of Free Banking. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; Reprint edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598130439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598130430
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,528,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Despite it's seemingly specialized, historical subject, Good Money is really both very topical and very important. The story it tells--of private coinage during the Industrial Revolution--directly challenges the conventional wisdom that's at the foundation of all modern monetary systems, namely, the belief that only government's are fit to supply coins and paper money. Selgin shows that this was far from being the case in 18th-century England. There the government proved itself perfectly unfit to coin money, until private mints showed it how to do its job right! The story of how they designed the world's first successful industrial-scale coinage system, and of how the government ultimately put them out of business, is absolutely spellbinding! No one who reads it can ever look at a central bank or government-run mint without wondering how much better off the world might have been without it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The scene: Birmingham, England, in the steamy, sooty grip of the Industrial Revolution. George Selgin tells the "riveting" tale of a group of eccentric entrepreneurs who take on not only each other, but the Royal Mint and the British Crown in their bids to supply a burgeoning working class with desperately needed copper and silver coins. The result: a yarn as colorfully amusing as one of Dickens' more ambitious novels, but entirely true, and one that offers up an economics lesson to boot: namely, that good money really does drive out bad--that is, as long as governments stay out of it (as soon as they don't Gersham's Law kicks in). If you love a great story, if you adore larger-than-life characters, if you put a premium on fine prose, do yourself a favor and buy Good Money. It will be well worth yours.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched and generally well written. Some of the middle chapters can get a little tedious with the historical detail lavished on the Soho Mint, but other than that it is a historical gem! All you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the fascinating economic underpinnings of the Industrial Revolution and the cultural milieu within which it was rooted.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought it used but it was just like new - love it! If your'e interested in an important economic period, where Britain becomes a world industrial power, and that link to coinage, then this book is for you. As a companion to R. Doty's "Soho and the Industrialization of Money", it is unmatched. Together, you will understand the development of steam power to the industrialization of the world through coinage. Also, you will see the closing scenes of when society demanded intrinsic value in their money. A great read and much appreciated. Juno Moneta says visit Moneta-Coins dot COMmercial.
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Highly satisfied customer.
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