Greenback: The Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America

Overview

From the author of Lords of the Horizons, the

fascinating story of a new kind of money for a

new world

Money has always been at the heart of the American experience. Paper money, invented in Boston in 1698, was a classic of American ingenuity-and American disregard for authority and tradition. With the wry and admiring eye of a modern Tocqueville, Jason Goodwin has written a ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (52) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $2.99   
  • Used (45) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.99
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(335)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2003 Hardcover Brand New. 100% Money Back Guarantee! Ships within 1 business day, includes tracking. Carefully packed. Successful business for 25 Years!

Ships from: Darby, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.74
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(440)

Condition: New
Gift quality, Fine. 8vo. A superior copy in new condition. Clean, unmarked pages. Good binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Ships daily.

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.95
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
Excellent Condition! No Remainder Mark, No Damage, 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Ship twice daily.

Ships from: Plano, TX

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.99
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(389)

Condition: New
New New book & jacket. 1st ptg.

Ships from: Ann Arbor, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(3)

Condition: New
2003 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Excellent condition with only minimal sign of wear. Ships within 24 hours. Two day shipping with tracking number available and ... recommended. Browse our storefront for additional available titles by the same and many more authors. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 336 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

Ships from: chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$21.95
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(65)

Condition: New
2003 Hardbound 1st Printing 322 pgs. Illustrations

Ships from: Sylmar, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(164)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

From the author of Lords of the Horizons, the

fascinating story of a new kind of money for a

new world

Money has always been at the heart of the American experience. Paper money, invented in Boston in 1698, was a classic of American ingenuity-and American disregard for authority and tradition. With the wry and admiring eye of a modern Tocqueville, Jason Goodwin has written a biography of the dollar, giving us the story of its astonishing career through the wilds of American history.

Greenback looks at the dollar over the years as a form of art, a kind of advertising, a reflection of American attitudes, and a builder of empires. Goodwin shows us how the dollar rolled out the frontier and peopled the Plains; how it erected the great cities; how it expressed the urges of democracy and opportunity. And, above all, Goodwin introduces us to the people who championed-or ambushed-the dollar over the years: presidents, artists, pioneers, and frontiersmen; bankers, shady and upright; safecrackers, crooks, and dreamers of every stripe. It's a vast and colorful cast of characters, who all agreed on one thing: getting the money right was the key to unlocking liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Greenback delves into folklore and the development of printing, investigates wildcats and counterfeiters, explains why a buck is a buck and how Dixie got its name. Like Goodwin's Lords of the Horizons, another story of empire, Greenback brings together an array of quirky detail and surprising-often hilarious-anecdote to tell the story of America through its best-beloved product.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Almost from the beginning, money seems to have been an important part of the American experience. Paper money, introduced in Boston in 1698, was an American invention that challenged and reformed traditional notions of authority and value. As the world's first decimal currency, the dollar transformed trade. Greenback, Jason Goodwin's dollar-wise gallop through monetary history, is a feast of entertaining anecdotes and quirky details about the power of the buck.
From the Publisher
Praise for Lords of the Horizons: "A work of dazzling beauty . . . the rare coming together of historical scholarship and curiosity about distant places with luminous writing."-The New York Times Book Review "Jason Goodwin's deftly written and beguiling history of the Ottoman Empire is particularly pertinent today, when the cauldron of ancient hatreds once more boils over, but his prose would be welcome at any time."-The Boston Globe "May be read with pleasure and profit by everyone, not least the traveler headed east of Vienna and west of Baghdad."-The Wall Street Journal
Publishers Weekly
After a strong start, this history of American money loses its thread and ends up as an entertaining collection of trivia, personality profiles and vignettes rather than the compelling narrative promised in its opening. Still, Goodwin's flair for a colorful tale makes for rich reading, covering such odds and ends as a brothel in the Treasury Department, a prayer vigil over banking deposits, exploding printing presses and even a counterfeit scheme run from behind prison bars. Goodwin (Lords of the Horizons) makes some excellent points about the role of paper money in early U.S. history-it was the earliest symbol of the new country; it helped push colonists West; it even helped familiarize Americans with their native artists-but the significance of the stories he's chosen to include isn't always clear. After presenting a single national currency as one of the holy grails of early American banking, for instance, he glosses over the moment it finally arrives, a true turning point in American financial history. Goodwin's position as a foreign observer (he is an English journalist) occasionally trips him up: no one in America, for example, says "that will be four dollars thirty six." The cast of characters is as colorful as they come, and in the end the book makes good reading for those interested in odd and exciting tales from American financial history. But it's not the fascinating narrative take on the history of money in America that Goodwin sets out to deliver, and which the subject deserves. 30 b&w illus. Agent, Sarah Chalfant. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Goodwin (Lords of the Horizon; A Time for Tea) takes readers on an intriguing journey into the history of money, chronicling its evolution from the time of the Spanish conquistadors to the 20th century. According to the author, Americans "experimented with money as no nation has ever had the chance to: wampum, paper currency, private banknotes, gold and silver, government money, bank money." The author describes the origins of paper currency in 1608 and goes on to detail the origins of the dollar bill, showing, for instance, that the pyramid on the modern dollar first appeared on Continental currency issued to pay for the American Revolution. From the founding of the Bank of the United States to counterfeiting schemes, the contributions of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to our currency system, the establishment of the U.S. Mint, and the origins of the Greenback Party, Goodwin looks at the contributions money has made to our national life, including how it helped the United States grow and expand. Illustrations of currency in its various incarnations appear throughout, and an extensive bibliography is included. This informative and often entertaining account is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ., Jamaica, NY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
British popular historian Goodwin (Lords of the Horizons, 1999, etc.) explains how the Yankee dollar replaced Spanish pieces of eight as the world’s most powerful money. One third of the value of American currency remains offshore, greasing the ways of lawful and illicit international commerce. Here’s the story of the birth and adolescence of a much-beloved, venerated medium of exchange. Starting with wampum, Goodwin describes the continental currency praised by Cotton Mather and delineates the financial scandals that roiled the country before Washington (1) took the CEO’s office. Jefferson (2) sponsored the decimal system, and Hamilton (10) promoted the notion of a national bank. Simoleons bore images of landscapes, railroads, factories, farms, Native Americans, and goddesses. The farther they wandered from home, the more bank notes were discounted. Myriad issues fostered counterfeiting, despite the warning legend that "To Counterfeit Is Death." (Artistic forgers duly reproduced the dire words.) President Jackson (20) lost his temper, dueled with the Bank of the United States, and killed it. Paper money was frequently so valueless it could be used as a "shinplaster" to bandage a scraped leg. The Roman X on the ten reminded carpenters of the sawbuck used to prop up their work. The nation’s Great Seal found its way on the greenback with its enigmatic, all-seeing eye, but nobody is sure why. The dollar symbol’s origin is ultimately obscure, Goodwin concludes. He supplies interesting tales of copper- and steel-plate engravers, nice asides, and neat character sketches (most entertaining, some unnecessary for American readers). Here are yesteryear’s gold bugs, silverites, and bimetallists.Finally, William Jennings Bryan appears with his popular "Cross of Gold" oration. With no reference to the Susan B. Anthony coin or Boggs, the artist who literally draws his own pay, the text is more about monetary history than current design, production, or usage. An interesting and valiant attempt to encompass a subject that may be too cumbersome for one volume. Author tour
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805064070
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/7/2002
  • Edition description: 2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Goodwin's previous titles include Lords of the Horizons, On Foot to the Golden Horn, and A Time for Tea. He lives in England.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Most people find that what they really like about money is more of it, but only Americans started with a clean slate and a belief that if only they could hit on the right formula their dreams would come true. They experimented with money as no other nation ever had the chance to: wampum, paper currency, private bank notes, gold and silver, government money, bank money. On the way, the people learned to strike a deal, fix a price, watch their interests. They learned how to conjure money not out of the thin air exactly, but out of the natural riches of the land and the ingenuity of their own minds, and fell to arguing how much, relatively speaking, it was worth.

Settling that dispute, over the years, defined them as a nation.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2007

    good hi$tory here

    i paid very little but got quite a lot from this succinct money history. there's a good focus here on the world of counterfeit money. this is solid entertaining reading with some good insight into the origin of american dollars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)