The First 5,000 Years

Hardcover, 534 pages

English language

Published May 21, 2011 by Melville House.

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The author shows that before there was money, there was debt. For 5,000 years humans have lived in societies divided into debtors and creditors. For 5,000 years debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates, laws and religions. The words “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption” come from ancient debates about debt. These terms and the ideas of debt shape our most basic ideas of right and wrong.

17 editions


  • Business & Investing -- Economics -- Economic History
  • Business & Investing -- Economics -- Money & Monetary Policy
  • History -- Historical Study -- Social History
  • History -- World