Book Launch: DEBT – The First 5000 Years

Montreal Book Launch:
with author David Graeber

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 6pm-8pm
At QPIRG Concordia, 1500 de Maisonneuve Ouest, #204
Free. Welcome to all.
Wheelchair accessible.
Childcare available on request (please phone by 5pm on November 18)

Part of the QPIRG Concordia Resource Library Author Series.
Co-presented by CKUT.
David Graeber is an American anthropologist, political activist and author. He is currently reader in social anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and was formerly an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University. David is a member of the labor union Industrial Workers of the World, and has played a role in events such as the 2002 New York protests against the World Economic Forum. He is the author of Towards an Anthropological Theory of ValueLost People, and Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire. His most recent book is Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011). His new collection of essays Revolutions in Reverse is forthcoming from Minor Compositions/Autonomedia.
Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter system—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that 5,000 years ago, during the beginning of the agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems. It is in this era, Graeber shows, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. With the passage of time, however, virtual credit money was replaced by gold and silver coins—and the system as a whole began to decline. Interest rates spiked and the indebted became slaves. And the system perpetuated itself with tremendously violent consequences, with only the rare intervention of kings and churches keeping the system from spiraling out of control. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.
Part of the QPIRG Concordia Resource Library Author Series.
INFO: – 514-848-7585 –
Previous events in the QPIRG Concordia Resource Library Author Series:
– Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective; 
with author Scott Crow (October 16, 2011)
– Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism;
 with editor Jessica Yee (May 7, 2011)
– Everybody Talks about the Weather: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof;
 with editor Professor Karin Bauer (January 27, 2011)
– The Second Palestinian Intifada: Civil Resistance;
 with author Concordia professor Julie Norman (November 17, 2010)