Thoroughly enjoyed 'Cowries to Crypto: The History of Money, Currency and Wealth' by Jame DiBiasio. The book recounts the curious and intricate journey that Money has made, beginning all the way back in the tribute-based societies. It's an action-packed adventure through time, with Money as its protagonist, changing guises along the way, swashbuckling its way through the known world. I'm capitalising Money in this because it's the hero of the story. Pun intended...
This book answers all the all-important and relevant question for today's situation: How did we end up with the monetary systems we have? The very narrative of this volume reminds you that the history of Money is the history of the world; and highlighting the finance aspect of the latter infinitely enriches your understanding of the complicated maze of finance that is the 21st century....Especially now.
The book is told in an easy-to-read popular history manner; and the author throws in Money Trivia every once in a while, with curious facts from around the world, e.g. 'Most Famous Coins' or 'Women on Banknotes'. You're also invited to see how the dictionary of Money came to be. What is cash, what counts as cash (no pun intended), and where does the word 'cash' come from, for example? It is funny to think that a wee roundel made from precious (and sometimes, not-so-precious) metal combined with other roundels, determines the fates of individuals and nations alike.
The quirky illustrations by Harry Harrison definitely deserve to be mentioned as well. They're humorous, cartoonish, absolutely delightful, and most of all, remind you that reading this book is meant to be (intellectual) fun.
I heartily recommend it. #CowriesToCrypto