Aug. 25th, 2012

ashnistrike: (writing)
Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily in a position to write the post I want to write about Debt.  I read it as a 20-hour audiobook while driving from Louisiana to DC, and there were several points where I wanted to hit pause and stare off into space thinking about it for a while, but was driving and didn't try to negotiate my visually-based MP3 player interface, and then he said something else really interesting that I would have liked 10 minutes to process... Not to mention that I'm not in a position to double-check any of what he wrote.  I'm planning to reread in hard copy as soon as possible.  Which is not something I normally say about 20-hour audiobooks.  Onward.

This is one of those centrally interesting books that not only deliberately intends to entirely reshape your worldview, but is worthy of doing so.  1491, and to a lesser extent 1493, both fall into this category.  Unlike those, Debt is written from a foundation of a recognizable modern political perspective, one related to Occupy and the related anti-globalization protests (though as it points out the "anti-globalization" movement is entirely mislabeled).  Having some sympathy with those movements myself, I spent the whole book on the edge of hair-trigger skepticism whenever David Graeber came near them.  For the most part, though, the book is nuanced, thoughtful, and deeply embedded in real economic history.  [ profile] papersky's lovely review, much more thorough than this one, gives several examples--places where he tears apart economic myths through reference to anthropology. 

Read more... )


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