The Power of Gold The History of an Obsession

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-10
  • Publisher: Wiley
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The new edition of this bestselling book reveals a record of human nature in the ubiquity of gold In this exciting book, Peter L. Bernstein tells the story of historys most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset: gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through the modern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath, gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a bad end. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation may reverberate in todays fast-moving, electronically-driven markets, the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking feature of this tumultuous tale. Such is the power of gold. Whether it is Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, the luxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor of paper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hardnosed believers in the international gold standard, gold has been the supreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem of rectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of power that has shaped the destiny of humanity through the ages. Discusses the beginnings of gold as something with magical, religious, and artistic qualities and follows its trail as we progress to the invention of coinage, the transformation of gold into money, and the gold standard Other bestselling books by Peter Bernstein: Against the Gods, Capital Ideas, and Capital Ideas Evolving Contemplates gold from the diverse perspectives of monarchs and moneyers, potentates and politicians, men of legendary wealth and others of more plebeian beginnings Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, and the history of money and power struggles, The Power of Gold suggests that the true significance of this infamous element may lie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what this reveals about ourselves.

Author Biography

The late Peter L. Bernstein was President of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., an economic consulting firm for institutional investors he founded in 1973, after many years of managing billions of dollars in individual and institutional portfolios. Bernstein was also the author of ten books on economics and finance, including the bestselling Capital Ideas, Capital Ideas Evolving, and Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. His writing combines the zest of a historian with the meticulous analytical powers of an economist.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Prologue: The Supreme Possessionp. 1
A Metal for All Seasons
Get Gold at All Hazardsp. 9
Midas's Wish and the Creatures of Pure Chancep. 18
Darius's Bathtub and the Cackling of the Geesep. 38
The Symbol and the Faithp. 52
Gold, Salt, and the Blessed Townp. 66
The Legacy of Eoba, Babba, and Uddp. 74
The Great Chain Reactionp. 85
The Disintegrating Age and the Kings' Ransomsp. 96
The Sacred Thirstp. 114
The Path to Triumph
The Fatal Poison and Private Moneyp. 135
The Asian Necropolis and Hien Tsung's Inadvertent Innovationp. 158
The Great Recoinage and the Last of the Magiciansp. 175
The True Doctrine and the Great Evilp. 198
The New Mistress and the Cursed Discoveryp. 219
The Badge of Honorp. 239
The Most Stupendous Conspiracy and the Endless Chainp. 260
The Descent from Glory
The Norman Conquestp. 283
The End of the Epochp. 306
The Transcending Valuep. 328
World War Eight and the Thirty Ounces of Goldp. 346
Epilogue: The Supreme Possession?p. 367
Notesp. 373
Bibliographyp. 397
Indexp. 409
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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