Summary of The Power of Gold

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The Power of Gold book summary


9 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

10 Style


Peter L. Bernstein’s history of gold is about much more than just the lure of precious metal - it’s about man’s relationship with wealth, his desire for prosperity and his lust for power. The story he tells presents an unflattering portrait of the human character. The book demonstrates how thirst for gold’s twin uses - adornment and currency - has driven humankind to countless atrocities. This volume is so elegantly written that it deserves its own gold-leaf pages. Bernstein traces the transformation of gold into money, beginning at the dawn of historic time and ending by asking if gold will ever again recover its status as the standard for establishing the value of money. getAbstract highly recommends this fine book for anyone fascinated by all that glitters, and for students of economic history as well.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How people have perceived gold down through the ages;
  • How the quest for gold has triggered violence since the dawn of mankind; and
  • Why the pursuit of gold indirectly led to the discovery of the New World.

About the Author

Peter L. Bernstein  of New York City has written seven economics and finance books, including Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk and Capital Ideas and The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street. He is president of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., a firm that provides economic consulting to institutional investors.



The chemical symbol for gold derives from the word aurora, which means, "shining dawn." Gold’s light has illuminated the human race’s most ambitious and foolish endeavors. The adage of the wealthy man who responded to the call to abandon ship by strapping a large bag of gold to his...

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