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A History of Money: From Ancient Times to the Present Day 3rd Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0708317174
ISBN-10: 0708317170
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This work of monumental proportions is both well conceived and executed . . . Davies writes with a sparkling wit, and his prose is elegant and flowing. This book is a total success. Both undergraduate and graduate students can learn much from this excellent work, which will be useful to economists, political scientists, and even anthropologists.” –Choice

(Choice)

“If you want a chronological history of money, here it is. If the development of banking is required, that is available. And if you want to worry about the exploding world population, the book provides some interesting theories . . .” –Banking World

(Banking World)

“. . . highly readable . . .” –Financial Times

(Financial Times)

“. . . a thoroughly good read . . .” –Economic Journal
(Economic Journal)

“. . . if you are a numismatist looking for a book that will explain the economy then this is it. I would not have been disappointed at £45 . . . all I can say is Highly recommended.” --Sacra Moneta

(Sacra Moneta)

“. . . a masterful examination . . . It’s a helter-skelter ride through history, swooping and touching on civilization and how they did business, funded their treasuries and paid their servants including armies . . .” –World Money Laundering Report

(World Money Laundering Report)

About the Author

Glyn Davies, deceased, was an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales and Economic Advisor to Julian Hodge Bank Ltd. His former positions include Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking and Finance and Head of Department for Economics and Banking, U.W.I.S.T, Cardiff. He was also Senior Economic Advisor to the Secretary of State for Wales and Economic advisor and Director of the Bank of Wales.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wales Press; 3rd edition (November 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708317170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708317174
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Autodidact Bookiniste on July 31, 2007
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Almost all English-language books on the history of money are extremely eurocentric. They are written as if the world outside of western Europe did not have an economy before Europeans colonized it. As far as I know, Glyn Davies has written the only monetary history book that dedicates more than a few token pages to non-Western and pre-modern economic history. It is perhaps the only book on the history of money with a truly global scope.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Eicher on August 15, 2005
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This is one of my favorite books related to history and economics.

The former Professor Davies has given us a wonderful collection of stories about the original forms of money used and the evolution of money and financial institutions. This is a book that will appeal to a historian, anyone working in the financial sector, anyone interested in economic development or the development of economic and business institutions.

My favorites are the stories about primitive, commodity money, such as giant stones way too big to pack around or exotic teeth! My second favorite stories are those of the Goldsmiths of Engand, who were the first commercial bankers in western Europe. I encourage you to read this book and find your own favorite chapters.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Clementin on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This history of money is very thorough and detailed. There are good pages on Ancient Greece and Rome which are very interesting and rarely found in similar studies. Yet I found the book disappointing and rather pedestrian, hiding the forest behind the trees. It is very descriptive, with a lot of material about the development of banking regulations, which I found a bit boring. It's also very Anglo-centric: more than half the book is dedicated to British banking and monetary history.

For a "big picture" yet very clear history of money, I found Galbraith's book "Money, whence it came and where it went" much, much better - and much shorter. I also recommend "the Great Wave" by David Hackett Fischer, which, although not as rigorous, is a fascinating read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J&L.Wheeler on January 21, 2014
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A good book if your main concern is the development and evolution of English money and banking. Not enough information about ancient forms of money and how it developed around the world, a bit lengthy and wordy in my opinion as well. Interesting and enjoyable to a certain degree but should be titled "A History of English Money: Not Concerned With Anybody Else."
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic study of the development of money! Really, the title tells you what to expect: you are going to get a very full and detailed study of money in this book. If you want a lightweight book-this aint it! But, if you want a full understanding of how money has changed and the practices around money have developed then this is your book.

I will mention that Davies starts his study before money as we would understand it even began, which was actually such an interesting addition to this book!

You will then be getting a very detailed description of various forms of money throughout history. I won't even try to summarize all of the sections. But rest assured that you will get a global perspective, and will learn a good deal about money and banking along the way.

Yes, a solid portion of this book is dedicated to British and European monetary developments- but I don't think that the amount of space is unjustifiable.

I will also hit home that you are going to get a lot of detail, maybe more than you want on some things. You are also going to learn about banking so far as it relates to how money has changed- I didn't realize how much of the book would be about banking practice. That said, the amount of detail is necessary to give each subject a full study- and I have found the time spent reading the book to be worthwhile (yes, even the 'boring' parts!). I found some sections to be tedious when reading them, but later realized how much they contributed to my understanding of money and even investing.

The great thing about Davies is that he is not overly concerned with guiding you towards an opinion of monetary theory or anything like that. He presents the facts and lets the patterns of history speak for themselves.
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An excellent analysis of the subject. I discovered the existence of the book in a Google search done for the composition of my Valedictory lecture. Davies' tome gives a clear background of Gresham's first law and on the development of the idea of wealth. It highlights the significance of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.
The book is well written and easy to understand. The shortcoming is that Davies does not deal with the effect of the development of money on the changing law.
I am going to recommend the book to Ph.D. students, especially if they have some understanding of accountancy.
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