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Money: A History

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1554072828
ISBN-10: 1554072824
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

An untold number of books have chronicled--and even pictured--the history of money. These range from scholarly economic treatises to lavishly illustrated works to John Kenneth Galbraith's sweeping Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (1975). This new look at the growth and development of ancient monetary systems and the origins of coinage occupies a niche somewhere in between. Williams is a curator in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum and a specialist in Roman and Iron Age coins. In the context of today's increasingly "cashless society," this is a fascinating survey of the roles played by various cultures in the concept and evolution of money and exchange. Williams traces the rise and diversity of various mediums of exchange and coinage in Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and Egypt, the Roman world, medieval Europe, Islamic lands, and Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The text is superbly enhanced by more than 500 illustrations, more than 200 of which will be in color. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"It is easier to write about money than to acquire it..." Voltaire "This volume will...make an excellent reference book for all decent libraries....it is also to be recommended as a handsome addition to individual coffee table collections." History Today" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (September 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554072824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554072828
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Written by the coins and medals experts of the British Museum, this handsomely designed work succinctly but comprehensively explores the entire history of money, from its earliest beginnings to the electronic transactions of the 1990's.
The book features over 550 beautiful color and black-and-white illustrations, with essays covering ancient and modern coinage in global perspective, and relating the moral, political, religious, and social meanings inevitably associated with so powerful a force. Highly recommended as an excellent introduction to a complex subject, or just for enjoyable and informative browsing.

(The "score" rating is an ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)
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Format: Paperback
The authors, curators at the British Museum, present a broad review of the history of money that explores the creation, use, and evolution of money from the beginnings of recorded history to the present. While doing so, the authors provide interesting and thoughtful observations about the economic, political, social, religious, and moral aspects of money and its uses around the world throughout history. The book is abundantly illustrated with numerous images of coins and paper money, maps, and artwork that supplement the text very well.

This book is an excellent reference work that is well written and easy to follow. It can be used as a starting point for further research, with an annotated Further Reading section and a guide to money museums around the world. Apart from its utility as a reference work and research resource, the book can be read on its own by any reader interested in taking a look at the history of money. This would be a useful reference book in any community, high school, or college library.

The book was reissued in 2007, on the tenth aniversary of its original publication.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We were in the British Museum and my sons wanted me to buy it for them. It must have been close to $40 and I didn't know how good the book would be and I didn't want to add to our luggage. So I used my amazon mobile app and ordered it to get sent back home in the US while we were still in the museum. It was waiting for us when we returned and my husband says it is a very good book.
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