The First 5,000 Years



   Order Code: RH144   
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This alternate history of the rise of money and markets debunks the conventional idea that money was invented to replace barter.

Anthropologist David Graeber argues that money was instead invented to repay debts. In chapters on "primordial debts," the first agrarian civilizations, the Middle Ages, the age of capitalist empires, and—since Bretton Woods—the era of "American debt imperialism," Graeber entirely rethinks the nature of debt, money, markets, states, capitalism, and the future of our economy.

Written in a! brash, engaging style, the book is also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of debt—where it came from and how it evolved.
The New York Times Book Review

This timely and accessible book would appeal to any reader interested in the past and present
culture surrounding debt, as well as broad-minded economists.
Library Journal

Controversial and thought-provoking…an excellent book.

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2012 paperback edition


Melville House




10 and up