This book did have its interesting tidbits and the narrator is fine, so I didn't feel I wasted a credit or anything. But due to this being such a fascinating subject, I was rather disappointed. I hope I can find other books on this subject. Got a little tired of the story after a while printing printing printing. But the author really gives you the sense of what it was like to be a German at that time. Totally bewildered in a country that didn't seem to have a sense of what was going wrong.
Its hard to fathom, but clearly the German people were "softened up" by this spectacular event. Is the author correct in his assertions toward the end that reparations were not responsible? Dunno that I trust the author given there wasn't much theory in this book. However, the author sticks to his guns and that is clearly very interesting. Also interesting in that most history books blame reparations but few clearly spell out that reparations were due in gold notes. Most modern day economists would say printing is not a way to get out of gold payments.
And that might be true, but the author seems pretty convincing that the Germans weren't attempting that folly. Had the author introduced a much higher degree of economic analysis, I feel that the emotional impact would have been far less. Its kind of like reading Dickens and then complaining you didn't get any Malthus in the text. This book if you really stay with it can really bring home the emotional impact of what it was like to be a German pre-Hitler. I give it five stars Thanks to the authors. If the author is correct about the last part I just don't know that much about the history of those times He doesn't really provide alot of justification for the claims at the end just sort of lays them out there.
To understand all of that and not change the scope is a gift to the reader. So my long winded advice is to appreciate the narrow scope, appreciate the seemingly endless monetary printing, and let wash over you what it means to sing "Deutschland Uber-alles" pre-Hitler. Getting transported back in time is priceless. Very informative, but could have been more informative. Yet for an 8 hour read or short book it tells a lot about post WW I central Europe. It must have been an extremely difficult time for Germans, Austrians and Hungarians.
If this situation occurrs again in Europe or the US, which as we know history repeats then the duration and outcome will be much more dramatic. The daily massive inflation, hunger and unemployment these people endured, I feel a similar situation in the US would incurr civil unrest the world has never seen. Revolutionary like Required reading for everyone in finance. This is history, and has happened repeatedly.
It can't happen again!
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Can it? This review of Weimar Germany is an excellent way to understand economics through social interactions. The similarities to the US and its external deficit to the world is downright scary. Must read book. Good history lesson but hard to follow all of the personalities. Would like to have elaborated more personal experiences.
If you could sum up When Money Dies in three words, what would they be? Great Technical Read. How blind people in power were to the causes of inflation. Any additional comments? Technical, tedious, time consuming, but scarry as heck and I'm so glad I listened to it. Definitely changed my investment strategy. Lets face it - we all rely on money these days, and what might happen if it becomes worthless is a nightmare few would be prepared to contemplate.
This book gives what I think is a very good narrative of the years after WWI when Germany, Austria and Hungary suffered that very fate - to one degree or another - and why things were allowed to go so wrong. Of course it is easy to reel off loads of enormous numbers to show just how unreal economics had got, but there are also plenty of spotlights on how this all affected ordinary people, and I found people's optimism that things couldn't get any worse particularly striking, since things certainly did get worse. There are lessons to be learned, but of course every moment in history is unique and the economic mistakes of today are very different to those of etc, so simply expect a well presented story of the collapse of an economic system and its human consequences.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in economic or social history. I thought that a book about inflation would raise interesting pointers for today's economic situation, but I couldn't find the hoped for relevance. Hungary and Germany after the first world war were very specific cases. I think the book is showing its age too - we expect more commentary and polemic, perhaps, so spice up a modern read. Still, an informative historical read I mean listen! By: Adam Fergusson. Narrated by: Antony Ferguson.
Length: 9 hrs.
Categories: History , European. With this grand scale of inflation and devaluation, Germany experiences social unrest, political turmoil, and bureaucratic upheaval. This book takes you step by step through the sequence of events, while walking you side by side with those who experienced it firsthand. The price of necessities such as bread, flour, milk, and other needs continued to climb so high until it bred famine. Eventually worthless, locals found the money was more useful as wallpaper or as paper to start a fire with. The facts explored in this book are endless and critical to understanding the consequences of deficit spending.
It is a hard read to get through because of the dull and barren tone. But the information is highly impressive. Have a highlighter ready! View all 5 comments. Aug 11, Nick Lincoln rated it liked it Shelves: politics , economics , historical. Heavy on numbers and written in a dry, detached style, this can be a bit of a slog at times. Nevertheless it's compelling, in a car-crash kind of way, because the reader knows that this story is the precursor to National Socialism and carnage beyond our imagination at that time.
The excuse - if there can be one - for politicians at that time was Heavy on numbers and written in a dry, detached style, this can be a bit of a slog at times. The excuse - if there can be one - for politicians at that time was that there had not been such an experiment carried out before. Sadly, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Quantitative easing is printing money by any other name. The proponents of "sound money" who were influential 30 odd years ago are no longer heard.
This book should be required reading for every mandarin and flunkie in Westminster and around the world. Dec 22, Sagar Jethani rated it it was ok Shelves: finance , history. Adam Fergusson has taken one of the more dramatic episodes in economic history and rendered it sterile and devoid of life.
His narrative suffers from an over-reliance upon the historical perspective described by Toynbee: "One damn thing after another.
The standard response is that only through runaway inflation could she hope to settle her war reparations with France, which she would otherwise have no way of paying. The British Prime Minister lamented that France sought to punish Germany without end, cynically maneuvering Germany into default and therefore paving the way for a French occupation of the Ruhr-- all of which played out exactly as he feared. Indeed, France emerges as being more responsible for German suffering than has been previously described.
She indirectly bears responsibility for the conditions that gave rise to National Socialism and Adolf Hitler. France occupies a seat of honor in the great tally of epic mistakes made by nations during the 20th century.
ISBN 13: 9781906964443
One wishes Fergusson would have settled upon a more imaginative design than to open each chapter with dire words about how just when Germans thought things couldn't get any worse, the sky really began to fall. Perhaps that is an unavoidable hazard in telling a story about hyperinflation, where things, a-hem, continue to get worse and worse. A more effective approach would have been to track the human tragedy, to which Fergusson pays scant attention.
When telling a story like this, one quickly grows weary of adding yet more zeros to the rate of exchange; such numbers only become meaningful when human affairs are attached to them. Although Fergusson faithfully recounts excerpts of diplomatic letters, there is not enough examination of what average Germans experienced through the monetary nightmare. One cannot help but feel that a more visceral account of the Weimar hyper-inflation will one day be told.
View 1 comment. Mar 31, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: overseas , history , economics , nonfiction.
When money dies ( edition) | Open Library
I remember learning a little about the Weimar Republic many years ago during my history A-Level and being struck by the insanity of its hyperinflation. This book, originally published in , seeks to calmly explain how such an extreme, bizarre situation eventuated. By November of The government would shortly be unable to pay cash wages to the Army, to the police, or to its own officials.
Already the officers of the Ministry of Finance itself were being paid partly in potatoes. The bu I remember learning a little about the Weimar Republic many years ago during my history A-Level and being struck by the insanity of its hyperinflation. The budgetary estimates included on every page the outrageous reminder, in brackets, that all figures were in quadrillions [fifteen noughts]. On October 21 [ This madness was enabled by Dr. Havenstein of the Reichsbank, who cranked out more and more ridiculous denominations of banknote, until Germany was drowning in money worth practically nothing.
The highest denomination he reached was billiards, apparently also the highest ever printed. That would be ,,,, As the book makes clear, however bewildering this forest of zeros is to the contemporary reader, it was so much worse for those in the midst of it. Prices were very difficult to calculate and changed constantly; there seemed no hope of things getting better.
Related When money dies: The nightmare of the Weimar collapse
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