Money and Man, by Elgin Groseclose, New York: Ungar, pp. 311, $1.75 (paperback).
In ages past, a government would seize gold and try to palm off bronze or copper coins to its citizens. The modern method has consisted of palming off paper after seizing gold. So, there's nothing new in today's governmental attitudes toward gold or other forms of wealth.
The moral in MONEY AND MAN is that wealth can be obtained by earning it, which is hard; or by seizing it—which is much easier. Of course, if a man seizes another man's property, the action is called a crime; but if done by a government, it is called, say, taxation, or devaluation, or even deficit financing!
This book gives a factual account of the swindles and frauds perpetrated by individuals and governments throughout history—from the first devaluation ever recorded (Greece, sixth century B.C.) to the current monetary crisis; from the brilliant get-rich-quick scheme of John Law in 18th century France, to the dazzling stockmarket manipulations in 20th century America.
Some readers, and I am one of them, will not fully agree with all of Dr. Groseclose's recommendations for establishing a sound monetary system. But MONEY AND MAN will enable anyone to view current monetary problems within the context of the almost uninterrupted fraud and plunder of the past 2,600 years. The book is valuable not merely to economists but to the unwary millions who have been systematically victimized by their own ignorance and by the greed or good intentions of their rulers.
Note: The paperback ($1.75) edition of MONEY AND MAN can be obtained by writing to: Institute for Monetary Research, 1010 Vermont Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.
Eugene Guccione is senior editor of ENGINEERING & MINING JOURNAL and a director of the COMMITTEE FOR MONETARY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION.