Debt, Updated and Expanded

Debt, Updated and Expanded The First 5,000 Years

David Graeber2014
Now in paperback, the updated and expanded edition: David Graeber’s “fresh . . . fascinating . . . thought-provoking . . . and exceedingly timely” (Financial Times) history of debt Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: he shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.
Sign up to use


Photo of Jim Hagan
Jim Hagan@aranyalma
3 stars
Mar 3, 2024
Photo of iamazoo
5 stars
Jan 6, 2024
Photo of Heiki Riesenkampf
Heiki Riesenkampf@hrk
3 stars
Dec 18, 2023
Photo of Gavin
2 stars
Mar 9, 2023
Photo of Bouke van der Bijl
Bouke van der Bijl@bouk
4 stars
Mar 1, 2023
Photo of Matthew Royal
Matthew Royal@masyukun
5 stars
Feb 13, 2023
Photo of Félix
2 stars
Jan 9, 2023
Photo of Nelson Zagalo
Nelson Zagalo@nzagalo
5 stars
Sep 3, 2022
Photo of Rjyan C Kidwell
Rjyan C Kidwell@secswell
4 stars
Apr 7, 2022
Photo of Tara King
Tara King@sparklingrobots
5 stars
Sep 30, 2021
Photo of Ilia Markov
Ilia Markov@ilia
4 stars
Aug 1, 2021
Photo of Vlad Kyshkan
Vlad Kyshkan@vladkyshkan
4.5 stars
Mar 9, 2024
Photo of Martin Heuer
Martin Heuer@maddin
4.5 stars
Jan 11, 2024
Photo of Navya R
Navya R@navyarav
4 stars
Oct 7, 2023
Photo of Leland Foster
Leland Foster@snacks
4 stars
Jul 20, 2023
Long winded
Photo of Udit Desai
Udit Desai@uydesai
4 stars
Oct 24, 2022
Photo of Nick Simson
Nick Simson@nsmsn
4 stars
Jun 24, 2021
Photo of Nick Truden
Nick Truden@youngdust
5 stars
Apr 4, 2024
Photo of Tony
3 stars
Apr 2, 2024
Photo of Nathan Knowler
Nathan Knowler@knowler
4 stars
Mar 30, 2024
Photo of 0xADADA
4 stars
Mar 2, 2024
Photo of Emre Tekisalp
Emre Tekisalp@etekis
5 stars
Feb 4, 2024
Photo of Alvaro
3 stars
Jan 18, 2024
Photo of Cody Degen
Cody Degen@codydegen
4 stars
Jan 12, 2024