A disappointment. After an odd nine-page preface that opens with a Robert F. Kennedy 1968 speech about the notion of GDP, there are 121 herky-jerky pages on how an Italian monk and Venetian merchants used Arabic numerals and Greek math to construct the rudiments of modern accounting. One hundred and twenty-two pages follow on how accounting has contributed to the decline of the planet and the growth of rapacious capitalism, while hiding the fact that the true cost of a Big Mac is $200. No kidding. I’ll look for a better volume on the same topic and report later.
After three years preparing The Triumph of William McKinley by reading very little but books, letters, articles and newspapers from the Gilded Age, I’m trying to get back into my regular routine, which I’ll chronicle here with an occasional review of what I’ve read.