Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Review..The Pound

The Pound. David Sinclair.Arrow Books.2001.286 pages.

David Sinclair's book traces the history of the British currency from the dim days of Anglo-Saxon England to the advent of the Euro and the global economy.
As with language,several rulers over the centuries used it to unify the nation.Many also used the currency as a way to raise finance,revenue,taxes and capital.Queen Elizabeth,for example,issued coins six times as a defence against the inflation,wars and rebellions she faced.
As well as being a readable description of the rise and decline of the currency the author also explains economic terms and principles in easy to understand laypersons terms.My eyes didnt glaze over as Gresham's Law or the Gold Standard were explained.

I did note that the author is somewhat dismissive of the Euro .."it is likely to prove an expensive irrelevance"pg 280 and further down the same page "In its way the European single currency is nothing more than an extension of the existing national currencies".
On the final page writing about the future of the pound(pg286)"It would probably be foolish to replace it with the euro,even in the unlikely event that the single currency did manage to survive all the pitfalls awaiting it".
The author can probably be forgiven these comments bearing in mind they are now some eight years or so old.The world has changed markedly.It would be interesting to see what Sinclair thinks now of the euro and whether he has changed his mind about adopting it or not.
While his comments about the recent history of the pound and euro are somewhat redundant,I would still recommend this book as the earlier sections on the origins and growth of the pound remain relevant.


Michael Riley said...

You really are getting through those books.

I am reading Naomi Klein's book called "Shock Doctrine", It is quite left wing, but a very interesting read.

the move went well. Back in Australia now. It is cold and I have no computer.

Getting withdrawl symptoms



tim said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks,yeah the books have been great on the whole.Im enjoying the Roman book but found the Stephen Fry disappointing..glad to hear you arrived back ok.
Drop me your email address when you get your computer up and running