3.0 out of 5 stars
Great first impressions, horrible after taste, Jan. 6 2012
I'll say this right now: Jack has done his homework. He has listed pages of references to get a good picture on how our economic history looks like.
With that being said, The History of Money is a narrative-style book that starts out with the sacrifices of the Aztecs and ends it with our modern use of electronic money. What separates this book from other historical books is it tries to mix third-person scenarios with historical facts, instead of the typical dry point format that we are used to seeing in other history books. In the end, this concept ends up being a double edged sword for the book.
To give you a brief example of what I mean, there is a chapter that talks about the inflation with the Pesos. Whereas a normal history book will state facts, Jack decided to set the stage by describing the life of a South American country using Pesos during a hyperinflation period. He describes how the locals would constantly struggle and switch between American money and Pesos. He talks about how loans were never given out because the next day they could be useless. With this type of writing style in a history book, we get a better visualization of how these people struggled in tough economic times and see the world in their shoes.
The problem is, Jack takes this unique concept and runs far too long with it. Perhaps if Jack got an editor, this could've been relieved. Some of these stories take far too long to describe simple concepts and near the end of the book, I was getting annoyed with it because of the redundant paragraphs and unorganized thoughts.
However, despite this, this is a book I would recommend if you are interested in the history of money use in human history. Just be prepared for a struggle towards the end with Jack's unabridged thoughts.