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Synopsis

"The need for realism in reform of its monetary system is whatmakes Bernstein’s story of the Power of Gold so timely. It isa compelling reminder that maintaining a fixed price for gold andfixed exchange rates were difficult even in a simpler financialenvironment….Peter Bernstein was reluctant to project thestory of gold into the future. But to me his message was clear.Yes, gold will be with us, valued not only for its intrinsicqualities but as a last refuge and store of value in turbulenttimes. But its days as money, as a means of payment and a fixedunit of account are gone."
From the New Foreword by Paul Volcker

This bestselling book reveals a record of human nature in theubiquity of gold with a new foreword by Paul Volcker

In this exciting book, the late Peter L. Bernstein tells thestory of history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset:gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through themodern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath,gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a badend. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation mayreverberate in today's fast-moving, electronically-driven markets,the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking featureof this tumultuous tale. Such is the power of gold.

Whether it is Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, theluxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor ofpaper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hardnosedbelievers in the international gold standard, gold has been thesupreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem ofrectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of powerthat 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 weprogress to the invention of coinage, the transformation of goldinto money, and the gold standard
  • Other bestselling books by the late Peter Bernstein: Againstthe Gods, Capital Ideas, and Capital IdeasEvolving
  • Contemplates gold from the diverse perspectives of monarchs andmoneyers, potentates and politicians, men of legendary wealth andothers of more plebeian beginnings

Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, andthe history of money and power struggles, The Power of Goldsuggests that the true significance of this infamous element maylie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what thisreveals about ourselves.

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