Friday, December 31, 2010

Gold, by Nathan Lewis

This book was about three times as long as it needed to be. Most of the excess material was still fascinating, but it was excess nonetheless. A chapter about Japan's "lost decade" begins with the monetary history of feudal Japan. It would be like explaining the 1972 Olympic men's basketball final by saying, "Well, first you have to understand the nuclear process in the Sun." Perhaps that would enhance understanding, but it's beyond the scope of the ten-second ESPN sound byte.

Also, Lewis has a habit of including only a smattering of notes. He probably should have had about four times as many notes as he did. Without them, I'm unclear how much of what I read was fact, and how much was Lewis's interpretation of the facts, since they were presented side-by-side, without sources. The only reason I liked this book was because I'm into monetary economics; a normal reader would probably have quite before the end of the second chapter.

Rating: five out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.

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