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The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession Paperback – April 10, 2012
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From the Back Cover
"Mr. Bernstein has turned this story—not an obvious golden opportunity for even a writer of Mr. Bernstein's skill—into a real page-turner."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Bernstein . . . does full justice to his material. Almost every chapter contains some detail to surprise or delight. "
"There are sugarplums throughout the book. . . .The pleasure of the bookis in its sheer number of unknown places and interesting episodes."
—The New York Times
"Bernstein's volume is a tour de force with a satisfying conclusion: The charactersin this drama prove themselves 'fools for gold, chasing an illusion.'"
"Admirably written . . . a wonderfully interesting view—not alone of gold but of thegreater economic history. Like other of his work, it is assured of a wide readership."
—John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University
"The triumph of Peter Bernstein's book is that in the end you understand why and how it happened that the golden dog no longer barks. "
—The Boston Globe
"The range of research evident throughout the book is staggering. . . . Bernstein's ear for the telling quote is pitch perfect."
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Top Customer Reviews
This book tells you why. The book is not advocacy, it is sound economic history. It appreciates the "power of gold" as money and tells the story fairly. The best part concerns the gold standard as it operated in the 20th century and why that fell apart and did not resume for all the efforts to extend it.
I have the 2004 version and I don't have the Volcker intro. I should like to read it. To me, the events of the Eurozone demonstrate the difficulties that states have in trying to hold to hard money standards and why a multistate approach to currency discipline is unlikely to hold over the long term. The problem is much like the old gold standard problem. We can see it unfolding again in different guise with the Eurozone. Anyhow, much to like about this book, and with its easy and captivating narrative style, I freely recommend it to all.
There is much to commend about this book. And there is a lot that it covers. Allow me to distill it down to half-a-dozen central highlights, although that is a rather arbitrary number.
First, why gold? What is it about this element that has made it such an enduring part of the world’s monetary system, regardless of time period, location, or economic system? Bernstein explains that gold, alone among natural elements, shares the following characteristics: 1) it is universal (gold has been discovered on every continent other than Antarctica); 2) is it enduring (gold never rusts or tarnishes); it is malleable (gold can easily be crafted into almost any imaginable shape); and it is extremely dense (an equivalent monetary weight for gold in silver is enormous).
In some historical circumstances gold was easily obtained (e.g. the chunks of pure gold in the river Pactolus or at Sutter’s mill), but historically gold is difficult to produce.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book for the beginner as well as the seasoned gold digger!