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The Power of Gold

Librairie Eyrolles - Paris 5e

The Power of Gold

The Power of Gold

The History of an Obsession

432 pages, parution le 15/09/2000


Over the centuries, gold has stirred the passions for power and glory, for beauty and security, and even for immortality. No other object has commanded so much veneration over so long a period of time. The most striking feature of this long history is that gold led most of the protagonists of the drama into the ditch. Gold had them, rather than the other way around.

The Power of Gold begins with the magical, religious, and artistic qualities of gold. As the story progresses from primitive uses to the invention of coinage and the transformation of gold into money and the gold standard, gold speaks more loudly of power as it acquires increasing importance as money. Ultimately, the book confronts the future of gold, in a world where gold has been relegated to the periphery of global finance.

Along the way, we meet Moses and Midas, Croesus and Crassus, Byzantine emperors and humble miners, unscrupulous moneyers and ransomed kings, Francisco Pizarro and Benvenuto Cellini, Charlemagne and Charles de Gaulle, Richard I and Richard Nixon, Asian monarchs and Arab potentates, Issac Newton and Winston Churchill, David Ricardo, and John Maynard Keynes, the Forty-Niners and speculators who pushed gold to $850 an ounce in 1980.

Whether it's Egyptian pharaohs with depraved tastes, the luxury-mad survivors of the Black Death, the Chinese inventor of paper money, the pirates on the Spanish Main, or the hard-nosed believers in the international gold standard—men like the inscrutable Montagu Norman of the Bank of England or President Herbert Hoover of the United States—gold has been the supreme possession. It has been an icon for greed and an emblem of rectitude, as well as a vehicle for vanity and a badge of power that has shaped the destiny of humanity through the ages.

In the end, this story is a morality tale. The pursuit of eternity will not be satisfied by gold, or by anything else we choose to replace gold. Gold as an end in itself is meaningless. Hoarding does not create wealth. Gold makes sense only as a means to an end: to beautify, to adorn, to exchange for what we want and need.


  • Get Gold at All Hazards
  • Midas's Wish and the Creatures of Pure Chance
  • Darius's Bathtub and the Cackling of the Geese
  • The Symbol and the Faith
  • The Symbol and the Faith
  • Gold, Salt, and the Blessed Town
  • The Legacy of Eoba, Babba, and Udd
  • The Great Chain Reaction
  • The Disintegrating Age and the Hateful Withered Hag
  • The Sacred Thirst
  • The Fatal Poison
  • The Asian Necropolis and Hien Tsung's Inadvertent Innovation
  • The Great Recoinage and the Last of the Magicians
  • The True Doctrine and the Great Evil
  • The Cursed Discovery
  • The Badge of Honor
  • The Most Stupendous Conspiracy and the Endless Chain
  • The Norman Conquest
  • The End of the Epoch
  • The Transcending Value
  • World War Eight and the Thirty Ounces of Gold
  • Epilogue: The Supreme Possession'
  • Bibliography
  • Index

L'auteur Peter L. Bernstein

Peter L. Bernstein a longtemps enseigné l'économie à la New School for Social Research à New York. Dirigeant d'une entreprise de conseil auprès des investisseurs institutionnels, il est l'auteur de huit ouvrages d'histoire, d'économie et de finance, dont le best-seller Plus forts que les dieux : la remarquable histoire du risque, et Des idées capitales.

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Caractéristiques techniques du livre "The Power of Gold"

Éditeur(s) Wiley
Auteur(s) Peter L. Bernstein
Parution 15/09/2000
Nb. de pages 432
Format 16 x 23,5
Couverture Relié
Poids 777g
Intérieur Noir et Blanc
EAN13 9780471252108
Sélection de Noël


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