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Popes and Bankers: A Cultural History of Credit and Debt, from Aristotle to Aig

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  14 reviews

For the answer, Jack Cashill, a journalist as shrewd as he is seasoned, looks past the headlines and deep into pages of history and comes back with the goods. From Plato to payday loans, from Aristotle to AIG, from Shakespeare to the Salomon Brothers, fro
ebook, 272 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published March 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 101)
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Jeffrey Otto
Jack Cashill must surely be the finest peddler of plain-folk history in contemporary America. Like itinerant salesmen of generations past, in Popes and Bankers he meanders through the depths of Western cultural history seeking to sell a story of contemporary “moral cultural” decline; one that, he says, has brought the entire capitalist enterprise perilously close to insolvency. While his focus on the leading thinkers of the past two and a half millennia and their positions on usury is admirable, ...more
Cole Stratton
As a cultural history of credit and debt, Cashill's book is impressive in scope, but suffers from the brevity with which he treats his historical subjects as he blasts through history in short chapters. There's no real critical engagement with quoted authors; instead Cashill colors the surface of his historical narrative with his own ideological brush, in a light, meandering prose. His failure to really engage the material he presents in any meaningful way is disappointing. The overarching narra ...more
Jeremy West
“From Plato to payday loans, from Aristotle to AIG, from Shakespeare to the Salomon Brothers, from the Medici to Bernie Madoff,” this book goes deep into the history of credit and debt to uncover secrets hidden in time. Jack Cashill delves under the surface of secrecy and mystery to discover an entire realm of people and place unknown to the common man. The realm of bankers is typically a confidential business that deals with money some, but mostly with corruption, laundering, theft, lying, chea ...more
May 05, 2010 dvd rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, Christians, scholars
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
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“Is it possible that monks and other Judeo-Christian moralists were useful, maybe even essential to the creation of this [the thriving Western:] economy? If so, then is it possible that their dismissal from the marketplace has condemned us to our current economic purgatory?” That is the thesis that Jack Cashill lays out and attempts to answer in his latest book Popes & Bankers: A Cultrual History of Credit & Debt, From Aristotle to
May 20, 2010 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Thomas Nelson
Shelves: faith
If you are interested in finance and economics, history and Christian thought, then this book is for you. As I read the TIME magazine pretty much cover to cover, I skip the financial section (even though I was a business major). But Caleb is really interested in it so I decided to get this book through BookSneeze (a great way to get free books when you review them on your blog from Thomas Nelson publishing).
The subtitle of A Cultural History on Credit and Debt from Aristotle to AIG could have re
Fredrick Danysh
Popes & Bankers is an attempt to document banking throughout the ages. The author is fond of using big words and seems to take joy in lambasting the Catholic Church and the Knights Templars downplaying the role of other groups.
Maisie Wi-mei
From the religious pulpits to the plush offices of Wall Street, the author takes us on tour of how the (western?) financial world came to be. Filled with a veritable list of key players who have come to define the history of finance, I would say that this was a good starter book me to wet my toes in a sea of financial terminology. If the first few chapters describing usury left me a little uneasy about how most of us make a living these days, the last few chapters about the 2008 economic meltdow ...more
Enjoyed this more than I should have probably. I enjoy history and this really touched on a broad range of historical subjects. I learned about topics such as the Medici family that I had barely heard of. A very enjoyable, historical document. Came the closest of anything I've read to explaining the housing crisis and how it all evolved without getting too technical or watering it down too much.
2.5 stars. I was hoping for more Popes, Venetians, and Florentines, and less obnoxious political commentary and 1980s Wall Street. Still, it's a very readable book with a (biased) account of past economic events, many of which we conveniently (dangerously) like to ignore/forget.
Paul Burkhart
Great book. A great historical account of credit and finance. The author is obviously biased, but in that refreshing "I'm not going to try and hide my bias form you"-sort of way. More fuller review will be on my blog in the next day or two.
Absolutely useless compilation of fluffy BS that support author's biased opinion. For a serious treatment of the issue, actual facts and much more you need to refer to "A History of Interest Rates" by Homer/Sylla.
Brad Pruitt
A rich historical tour de force of credit, banking, and the stupid decisions people make and have made. Well written by a seasoned journalist.
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