Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated and Expanded

Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated and Expanded

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The groundbreaking international best-seller that turns everything you think about money, debt, and society on its head--from the "brilliant, deeply original political thinker" David Graeber (Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me)

Before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods--that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors--which lives on in full force to this day.

So says anthropologist David Graeber in a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Renaissance Italy to Imperial China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like "guilt," "sin," and "redemption") derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong.

We are still fighting these battles today.

Author: David Graeber
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Published: 10/28/2014
Pages: 560
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.15lbs
Size: 8.10h x 5.60w x 1.60d
ISBN: 9781612194196

About the Author
David Graeber (1961-2020) was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. One of the original organizers of Occupy Wall Street, Graeber was also the author of Utopia of Rules and wrote widely for publications such as The Guardian, Harper's, The Baffler, n+1, The Nation, The New Inquiry, and The New Left Review.