Readers Reviews of
THE POWER OF GOLD
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This is anecdotal
history and a good read. The book tries to establish the important difference
between gold as wealth and gold as money. His general conclusion is that gold
now remains as a sign of wealth, but it has little relevance as money, or as
backing for money. This is despite spending most of the book discussing how gold
has been used as a base for international and domestic exchange since ancient
shows how gold is no longer necessary as an underpinning of value and he exalts
in the way the US dollar has taken over this role. His observation in the
closing pages that the role of the US Dollar is just as symbolic as the role of
gold is quickly made and not explored in detail. This is an omission as a
constant thread in the book is the idea of the symbolic nature of gold as the
basis of money and monetary systems. A loss of faith in the basis of the system
destroys the system, so the assumption that the US dollar will remain dominant
fails to show the reasons for the lure and power of gold as he is too ready to
impose modern fiscal morality and ethics on the actions of the past, and the
distant past. Ascribing our emotions to quite different, and ancient societies,
makes for poor history and flawed analysis.
quite pulls it all together so the book remains a collection of interesting
anecdotes and observations that is not quite a history of gold and not quite a
history of money – and yet the two are inseparable.
Despite this the
book is an engaging read.
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