A Quick History of Money From Cash Cows to Crypto-Currencies

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-07-20
  • Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Why is a $5 note worth $5? Where do coins come from? What do banks actually do? All this and so much more is answered in A Quick History of Money, a crash course from cash cows to cryptocurrency.
Money might sound all grown-up and serious, but the history of buying, selling, saving, and stealing is full of crazy stories and unbelievable facts. A Quick History of Money is here to show you the silly side, as well as give you the lowdown on the important stuff like interest, stocks and shares, and wealth inequality.
You will discover:
  • How the earliest societies got by without a penny in their pockets.
  • Why gold gets all the glory.
  • How the first banks started making money from money.
  • Who invented the first banknotes and the concept of ‘fiat’ money.
  • The craziest money-making cons of all time, from shaving coins to selling the Eiffel Tower… twice.
  • How wealth is measured in the modern-day.
  • History’s most expensive money mistakes.
  • What money might look like in the future.
  • Great tips for slick saving and smart spending.
Plus, read about the world’s weirdest wonga, from the four-tonne stones used as currency on the island of Yap, to teacups and sea shells in ancient Asia, to beaver pelts in colonial Canada. Learn how hyperinflation leads to some mind-blowing money math, like the Bitcoins used to buy two pizzas in 2010 that would be worth over $90 million today. Test your knowhow with a quiz at the back of the book.
Packed with facts and jokes, the latest in the Quick Histories series takes us on a chronological tour from cashless societies to… cashless societies, proving that while it might make the world go round, money sure is funny.

Author Biography

Clive Gifford has traveled to more than 70 countries, climbed rocket launch towers, ridden on robots, and flown gliders. He's had more than 200 books published and has received nominations for or won Royal Society, School Library Association, Smithsonian, and TES awards. He won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book with Facts 2019 for his title The Colors of History (QEB). Clive lives in Manchester, UK. 

Rob Flowers channels his love for ghoulish characters, psychedelic colours, and anthropomorphic food into his bright and brilliant work. To the backdrop of a hoard of vintage action figures and Happy Meal toys, he creates his illustrations that embody this obvious love for humour and characters. His books for Wide Eyed Editions include A Quick History of the Universe and A Quick History of Money.

Table of Contents

A time before money - How early people managed without money
It's a Gift - Presents in the past
Swap Shop - All about bartering
Cow much? - Stores of value
All that Glitters - Gold and silver
Shelling Out -  Selling for seashells
Mesopotamia's got talent[s] - Marvelous Mesopotamian money
Owe no! - Pouches, priests, and promises to pay
Very Interesting - Simple and compound interest
Coining it - The world’s first coins
Coins catch on - Countries go coin-crazy
Don't bank on it- Banks in ancient Greece
Slave to money - Debt slavery in the ancient world
Funding fights - The currency of the Roman Empire
Roman Rises - Money mayhem in ancient Rome
Fine time - Blood money in Dark Ages Europe
China's changing currencies - Cowries and coins in ancient China
Flying cash - The invention of paper money
Stone-cold rich - BIG money on the island of Yap
World's wealthiest - Mansa Musa’s many millions
What a rotta! - Numbers and banks in Renaissance Italy
Families and florins - The Medicis make a killing
Taking stock - All about stocks and shares
Cocoa, cotton, and copper - Aztecs, Incas, and empires
Super silver - Second-best? Not in the Spanish Empire.
Paper problem solvers - Paper gets popular
Coin clippers - Crafty currency criminals
National banks - The first central banks
Cashing in - Rothschild gets rich
Minted! - The first coin-making machines
An upsetting business - How coins are created today
The greenback - The mighty one-dollar bill
Mark my words - Hyperinflation after World War I
Making money - Faking it with a famous forger
Crash! - The Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression
Wealth of nations - Getting to grips with GDP
Opportunity knox - The US’s fortified gold reserves
Put it on plastic - The first credit cards
Playing with plastic - New notes in Australia
Holes in the wall - All about ATMs
Microbanks - Big ideas for starting small
Beyond banks - Crowdfunding and P2P lending
Euro most welcome - Currency unions and the euro
Making money from money - Commemorative coins
Feeling reserved - Fractional reserve banking
The global financial crisis - 2008 and the Great Recession
Bitcoin begins - The wild world of cryptocurrencies
Rich and poor - Wealth and inequality
The end of hard cash? - Digital dollars and contactless cards
Future money - What lies in store for money and - how we use it?
Money and you!
Buy, bye, bye
Money mishaps
Money quiz
Taking things further - Further reading and resources

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