This book is the history of capital and finance. Told by a financial scholar, great observer, and talented writer. When you finish the book you will yearn for more.
A must read for anyone involved in finance or a student of finance.
From the back cover:
"Only William Goetzmann--an archaeologist, art historian, and esteemed finance scholar--could have produced this masterful exploration of money and investing through the ages. Money Changes Everything is at once deep, broad, sweeping, and gorgeously illustrated. It is a book that readers will savor and refer to again and again."--William Bernstein, author of A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
"Money is the greatest invention since the wheel. In this masterwork, Money Changes Everything, William Goetzmann traces money's role from prehistoric times to the present, showing how civilizations developed on a bedrock of financial transactions. A beautifully written and compelling book."--Elroy Dimson, University of Cambridge and London Business School
"In Money Changes Everything, readers learn a tremendous amount about the core ideas of finance. William Goetzmann uses a vast range of historical examples to explain why the evolution of finance and civilization are inseparable."--Robert J. Shiller, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"In this engaging book, William Goetzmann, a modern Renaissance man, demonstrates that throughout recorded history, the power of financial technologies has improved human existence. Like other technologies, financial innovations can sometimes be disruptive. Goetzmann, however, shows us that much of the time, these innovations propel economic progress and expand individual opportunities."--Richard Sylla, Stern School of Business, New York University
"If anyone had told me that someone could write coherently and intelligently about Karl Marx, cuneiform tablets, the South Sea bubble, the opium trade, and David's painting Death of Marat between a single set of covers, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. This book accomplishes precisely this. Money Changes Everything does nothing less than to think through the contribution of finance to modern civilization. A thrilling read."--Hans-Joachim Voth, University of Zurich
"Ranging from early civilizations to the present day and moving from the Fertile Crescent to our current global society, this book contains a wealth of interesting observations about the history of finance. Readers will be attracted by the genial tone and tales of personal discovery."--Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"This is a long-term history of the development and importance of financial technologies and institutions. A useful synthesis that brings together primary materials, the book argues that financial systems provide the means for advancing civilization."--Graham Oliver, Brown University
Order the book here.