The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal
By Matthew Hart
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451650020, 304pp.
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
From the lost empires of the Sahara to today's frenzied global gold rush, a blazing exploration of the human love affair with gold by Matthew Hart, the award-winning author of Diamond
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the price of gold skyrocketed--in three years more than doubling from $800 an ounce to $1900. This massive spike drove an unprecedented global gold-mining and exploration boom, much bigger than the Gold Rush of the 1800s. In Gold, acclaimed author Matthew Hart takes you on an unforgettable journey around the world and through history to tell the extraordinary story of how gold became the world's most precious commodity.
Beginning with a page-turning dispatch from the crime-ridden inferno of the world's deepest mine, Hart pulls back to survey gold's tempestuous past. From the earliest civilizations, 6,000 years ago, when gold was an icon of sacred and kingly power, Hart tracks its evolution, through conquest, murder, and international mayhem, into the speculative casino-chip that the metal has become. Hart describes each boom and bust in gold's long story, culminating in the swift and startling emergence of China as the world's new gold titan. In writing that Publishers Weekly calls "polished and fiery," Hart weaves together history and cutthroat economics to reveal the human dramas that have driven our lust for a precious yellow metal.
Matthew Hart tells the story of humankind's obsession with gold around the world and through history in his new book, Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal. He joins host Scott Simon to explain why he writes that "gold is its own country." More at NPR.org
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