Reddit meter
all mentions


560 pages, 2014

economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books
money & investing

money & investing

165 books
In Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber turns conventional wisdom on its head by arguing that for thousands of years, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—long before the invention of coins or cash. Humans first encountered a society divided into debtors and creditors, Graeber argues, in the very era in which we also first see agrarian empires. In this well-researched and meticulously argued book, Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections.
Understanding the Concept of Debt

In his book, David Graeber explores the concept of debt, tracing its history over 5000 years. He challenges the traditional economic belief that money evolved from barter systems, instead suggesting that debt existed before money. This is a fascinating perspective that will make you rethink what you know about the economy.

Debt and Morality

Graeber digs into the moral implications of debt. He argues that debt has been morally confusing throughout history, often leading to social unrest. This book will make you see the moral complexities of owing someone something in a new light.

The Impact of Debt on Society

The book also explores how debt has shaped societies and cultures over the centuries. Graeber suggests that debt has been a major factor in the establishment of social institutions and hierarchies. This will help you understand the profound impact of debt on our lives.

Debt and Power

Graeber researches the relationship between debt and power. He argues that debt is a means of exercising control and maintaining social order. This perspective will make you see the power dynamics in society in a new way.

Rethinking the Economy

Finally, Graeber encourages us to rethink our economic systems. He suggests that our current system, which is heavily reliant on debt, is not the only possible one. This book will inspire you to imagine alternative economic systems that could potentially be more equitable and just.

Quotes 5

Graeber's Debt is a fascinating exploration of the complex ways in which credit and debt underpin our economic systems.

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty - Economist, Author

Debt is an extraordinary book that brilliantly illuminates the past and the present of the very concept of debt.

Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky - Linguist, Philosopher

Graeber's Debt is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the systemic injustices of our current economic system.

Yanis VaroufakisYanis Varoufakis - Economist, Politician

Debt is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges our preconceptions about economy, society, and debt.

Russell BrandRussell Brand - Comedian, Activist

Graeber's Debt is a fascinating and deeply researched exploration of the very concept of debt.

Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow - Author, Blogger
Thomas PikettyNoam ChomskyYanis VaroufakisRussell BrandCory Doctorow


authorSeth Godin

Seth Godin

educatormarketermedia personalityauthor
authorDavid Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson


Debt found in libraries

79 books

Best Books For Finance And Investing

Invest your money into the right source and track your finance with the Best Books for Finance and Investing.