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So make sure you spend each one wisely. The Art of Persistence: Are you tired of quitting? Habit is what keeps you going. A novel set in a neoliberal dystopia. Review Mihm brings to teeming life a world most Americans never knew existed, a world in which every single purchase was inflected with an additional layer of anxiety about the very currency in which the purchase was to be transacted. Harvard University Press May 1, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I'm very selective about what I read based on the author's writing skill. This passed all my tests for engaging writing. Then, there is the material. Obviously heavily researched into an area I don't think I've ever heard discussed--the parallel growth of capitalism and counterfeiting.
The author makes a persuasive case for his thesis that counterfeiting made capitalism in the US possible. Counterfeiters created the money supply that fueled economic growth. And, those are just the illegal counterfeiters. In fact, although counterfeiters were often pursued and from time to time put on trial, they generally were found not guilty based on their lawyers claims that you can't falsify bills that have no standing in the first place.
Anyone who wants to think hard about what faith in money, and in banking, means will find this book to be a brain shifting experience. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. The book is a great, well-documented history mostly about paper currency in the US before the Civil War. However, the quest for inclusiveness and completeness makes it seem repetitive and tedious.
The best part is near the end which covers the time period just prior to, during and after the Civil War. In the bulk though, the endless begats and interrelationships of counterfeiters soon become boring. A book half its length would have been more readable. For shame, Harvard University Press Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
Review is for Kindle version ONLY I hate to do this, but I did want to warn potential kindle purchasers that this is one of those books where the conversion to Kindle was very, very lazy. In the opening of the book the author will refer to a figure. Instead of an actual image however grainy or black and white it might have been , however, we get the following: I didn't realize that by buying this on kindle, I was buying a handicapped version of the book. Also, while I knew this going in, this one also wins demerit points for being the only kindle purchase I made for this grad school class which doesn't have page numbers available.
Since this is an assigned reading, I now have to wonder if I have to purchase the print version now, and if I can get my money back from this cheapo kindle version. Publishers like this make ebooks look bad. We should all let them know that we do NOT appreciate it. I apologize to the author, as it's not his fault and Amazon doesn't distinguish between one-star for the publisher and one-star for the author , but I'm not sure how else to best make my voice heard.
Instead, I encourage everyone who's had similar experiences with other kindle books to make similar reviews. When we buy a kindle book, we expect the full book. Heck, we expect MORE than that. We expect the publisher to add in page numbers, to hyperlink footnotes and the table of contents; this stuff isn't that hard. Academic kindle books should be MORE convenient than paperback after all, this is a great way to surmount the poor indexing common in academic literature, as kindle is text searchable , not partial products that end up being less convenient than paperback.
In doing some research for a paper I came across this book that was written in a much more interesting way than all those academic papers I had to read: One person found this helpful.
A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States
I have enjoyed all I have read so far. History is good to learn about. Mihm has written an eye-opening book. My only regret is that the Kindle version does't contain the illustrations in the paper version; that ought to be corrected. Excellent, interesting, and little known to most of us unless you have a real passion for the history of early American finance.
A Nation of Counterfeiters
Since the financial collapse of , there has been a surge of interest in the economic origins of the U. But in an increasingly anonymous and geographically-dispersed economy, fraud and forgery grew rampant. Mihm argues that only a thin blue line separated real from counterfeit money. Sometimes such boundaries simply vanished. Banks that issued notes without the requisite financial reserves or assets were little different from counterfeiters, at least to many contemporaries.
Bank and counterfeit notes alike required users to deem something valuable that had little intrinsic worth. Bankers and confidence men not only thrived in this system; they shared the same values. Mihm presents a social history of the United States in which the netherworld intersects with public life in the early republic. After , New York and Philadelphia became counterfeit centers as corrupt printers and engravers were attracted to the lucrative [End Page ] business. By then, a national network of counterfeit crime had emerged, exemplified by family entrepreneurs like Daniel Brown and William Taylor whose influence extended to the Midwest and South.
Some intermarried; others like James Brown were elected justice of the peace in their communities Boston, Ohio.
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Counterfeiting persisted for multiple reasons: This changed only with the Civil War. A reinvigorated federal government banned state-chartered bank notes and replaced them with a national currency. Mihm argues that this involved more than money. A true national currency demanded faith in a new concept: National loyalty now transcended faith in the market, private banks and individual citizens.
Counterfeiting thus became a threat to nationhood and national security, not simply a nuisance. Some fault Mihm for overstating the importance of currency to nationhood. Were Burroughs and his compatriots If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.
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