Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went” as Want to Read:
Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (Penguin Economics)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A classic look at the story of money is updated for the 1990s by the eminent economist, offering an in-depth, often hilarious lesson in human behavior and a layman's course in the theory and practice of economics. Reprint.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Houghton Mifflin (T) (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Money, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Money

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 20, 2009 Seán rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Categorical Syllogism Review:

Idiots are rarely right about anything.
Thomas Sowell, an idiot, hates this book.
Therefore, this book is probably pretty good.

I really enjoyed this. Galbraith upbraids the Milton Friedmanites, savages Nixon, writes like a smoking jacket-wearing gangster, and eradicates ignorance on every page:
Where economic misfortune is concerned, a word on nomenclature is necessary. In the course of his disastrous odyssey Pal Joey, the most inspired of John O'Hara's creations, finds
Apr 25, 2014 Shira rated it really liked it

Online extracts here for searching for some of my quotes:

-p.8 --Finally! A reputable/academic/economist citing del Mar: (2) Alexander Del Mar, History of Monetary Systems (London: Effingham Wilson, 1895; New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1969), pp. 1-2.'

...'In time it would be asserted that the debauchment of the currency caused the downfall of Rome. This historiography - the tendency to attach vast adverse consequences to monetary behaviour of which the obse
Jan 25, 2015 Albyvintage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economia
Pag 6 Denaro falsa relazione con intelligenza.
Pag 12 Argento 10, rame 20 oro 30
Pag 13 I primi il re di Lidia. Il viso del sovrano era una garanzia più che un omaggio.
Pag 14 Ridurre quantità di metallo, tosare la moneta; falsari. Il Bisante per alcuni secoli fu esempio di moneta stabile. L'impero romano invece sotto pressione delle guerre puniche parte un ininterrotto deprezzamento.
Pag 15 Le monete buone tesaurizzate le monete cattive circolavano. Copernico la moneta cattiva scaccia sempre quella
Apr 25, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economia
Un libro que te abre los ojos y esclarece tantas cosas sobre porque el mundo está como está. Para entender la situación nacional como la internacional.
Se ocupa de las lecciones del uso del dinero en la historia, los progenitores del dinero, el como empezaron a surgir los bancos, la forma en que actúa la gente que es dueña de estos bancos, y la actitud de desconfianza de la gente frente a los bancos. Los inicios del Banco de Inglaterra, el patrón oro, la historia del papel moneda, el rol de la pl
Procyon Lotor
Jan 27, 2014 Procyon Lotor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-economia
Finissima divulgazione economica di gran classe. Per tutti, soprattutto i non specialisti. Introduzione storica dove serve, talvolta eccessiva per proteggersi accademicamente, taglio pratico, regole spesso applicabili. Le quattro nature del danaro: misura dei prezzi e fondo di valore, strumento di pagamento e (derivando) riferimento per il credito, sono ben trattate senza l'inutile aura esoterica che caratterizza tanta cattiva divulgazione economica; non per caso si parte dall'incompleta ma gene ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Milloum rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandonned
Well, i'm french. and i'm no very big lover of economics.
I was drawn to this book because i thought it promised an interesting and accessible introduction to some tricky aspects of the central topic of economic theory: money. and to some extent i did.

But i got more than i bargained for. You see, JK Galbraith has adopted a historical approach to his subject, which works, since indeed, the intricacy of all things money-related has grown with the centuries.

And up until year 1776, it's all good. I m
Kressel Housman
With all that's going on with the economy, I figured I owed it to myself to finally learn how money works. Rabbi Wein describes Galbraith's memoirs as "funny," and the flap copy on this book said that reading it would not be "a chore," so I figured this was the economics book for me.

After about 60 pages, I'm giving up. I can see that it's well-written and well-documented, but most of it is going over my head. I read a little about bank crises in Europe in the 1700's and the debate over gold sta
Erik Graff
Apr 11, 2009 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: economics neophytes
Recommended to Erik by: David Schweickart
Although not assigned, I read this book alongside a bunch of other Galbraith books for Davud Schweickart's Capitalism, Democracy, Socialism class at Loyola University Chicago. Although a history of common currencies since antiquity and around the globe, it serves as a witty introduction to some basic concepts of economics.
Jun-Dai Bates-Kobashigawa
Aug 19, 2007 Jun-Dai Bates-Kobashigawa rated it really liked it
A fascinating narrative about the history of money, mostly covering the last couple centuries, mostly in the US and Western Europe. Oddly enough this book reminded me very much of Eagleton's Introduction to Literary Criticism, probably because both work through history, pull out various ideas, and then proceed to point out everything that is wrong with them.
Rory Foster
Oct 09, 2013 Rory Foster rated it really liked it
Plenty of interesting history, and lots of opportunities for economic thinking at all levels. Many of the topics seem accessible with little or no serious background. I also like that Gilbraith acknowledges areas in which others disagree with his conclusions. A lot of the discussion gets complicated and terse, though, so it can be tough going for a novice. Still, a worthwhile read.
Cody Cummings
Oct 15, 2013 Cody Cummings rated it really liked it
"Well thought out and articulated. The language was a bit elevated, and sometimes it took a couple of rereadings to completely comprehend. The dry sarcasm was greatly appreciated. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for someone who does not have some kind of background in finance because the vernacular and assumed knowledge-base are at least at the level of a bachelors degree in finance."
Walter Souza
Feb 26, 2013 Walter Souza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took this book plainly with no expectations. And I liked what I read. The history of the money and everything that the mankind already likewise used. It can be bothersome, but it depends on your eager to read about the subject. Maybe it is the kind of book that you feel that you got what you wanted before finish reading.
Anyway, assuredly it is a good book to explore the subject.
Víctor Segovia
Mar 11, 2017 Víctor Segovia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es raro, el presente libro me pareció pesado con ganas; pero eso no le quita lo interesante ya que no todos los días se puede leer a un partidario de Keynes que sabe muy bien el fracaso al que lleva la doctrina monetarista y que tenga sus opiniones del banco central.
Eso si, no deja de ser interesante la historia del dinero y la evolución de algunos desastres económicos
Daniel Aguilar
Jan 31, 2016 Daniel Aguilar rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics, history
The initial introduction to the first forms of money in antiquity, as well as the creation of the first banks, was pretty interesting. However most of the book focuses on the history of the US Dollar, listing every single person, date, place and institution involved in the ups and downs of it. Probably it's just because I'm not the right audience for this book, but I found it terribly boring.
I saw a reference to this book and thus to understanding money, from where it came and where it went. But the book is not for me as I lost interest about 1/3 through. On to the next adventure. I'm sure it's a great book, but not for me, so I am choosing no stars.

Mar 06, 2016 Akhilleus rated it it was amazing
Suosikkikirjailijoitani. Lue, jotta voit varmasti nauraa rahamaailmalle. Monet kyllä nauravat mutta epävarmasti, koska pelkäävät. että jotain rahan "monimutkaisesta" maailmasta on jäänyt ymmärtämättä. Tämän jälkeen voit antaa palaa selkä suorana ja leuka pystyssä.
Dec 08, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it
Why did we believe once in gold being money and then silver and now only paper?

Why can't we simply barter?

Galbraith tells us all the answers!

David Alonso vargas
May 23, 2015 David Alonso vargas rated it really liked it
Shelves: historia, economía
Muy buena introducción sobre la historia del dinero y sus cambios a lo largo de la historia. Breve, conciso y muy certero. Sin duda un gran economista que tras mote para todo lector.
Apr 11, 2011 Kari rated it it was ok
Jibes at conservatives and liberals, but very liberal, and very opinionated, my word.
Eddy rated it liked it
Jun 21, 2017
George Rice
George Rice rated it really liked it
Jan 15, 2013
Don Garvey
Don Garvey rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2015
Shaik rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2011
conrad carlock
conrad carlock rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2014
Domiciano rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2012
Gwyn rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2009
Andre Jakurski
Andre Jakurski rated it really liked it
May 22, 2013
Asails F
Asails F rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2011
Joao Azevedo
Joao Azevedo rated it really liked it
May 06, 2015
Ramón Reyes
Ramón Reyes rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach
  • Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy
  • On Ethics and Economics
  • ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism
  • The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism
  • Pop Internationalism
  • The Future of Money
  • The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
  • On Economics
  • Understanding the Process of Economic Change
  • Economics for Dummies
  • The Invisible Hand (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • When Money Dies: The Nightmare Of The Weimar Hyper Inflation
  • The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783
  • The Gated City
  • Economics Explained
  • History of Economic Analysis: With a New Introduction
  • Economics
John Kenneth Galbraith was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism and democratic socialism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers in the 1950s and 1960s. A prolific author, he produced four dozen books & over a 1000 articles on many subjects. Among his most famous works was his economics trilogy ...more
More about John Kenneth Galbraith...

Other Books in the Series

Penguin Economics (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Affluent Society
  • From Boom to Bust: Trial and Error In British Economic Policy
  • The Culture of Contentment
  • An Economic History of the USSR
  • The Economics of the Common Market
  • Economics of the Real World
  • The Economy Under Mrs Thatcher, 1979-1990
  • A History of Economics: The Past as the Present
  • Japan versus the West: Image and Reality
  • Keynes and After

Share This Book

“The process by which money is created is so simple that the mind is repelled.” 7 likes
More quotes…