L'argent. Dinero. Geld. Dough. Whatever you call it, money makes the world go round. The United States is dispensing its first redesigned bills in decades, and the Euro is on the brink of unifying European notes. It's the perfect time for this visual tour of the world's currencies. The various people, places, animals, and historical events depicted on money reflect how countries see themselves—and how they want the rest of world to see them. Author David Standish begins with a brief, fascinating history of currency, and then presents a striking gallery of international bills from more than 80 countries that corner the market on visual flair. The cast of characters on these small canvases is vast—from the Little Prince on French currency to the furry denizens of the rainforest of Madagascar to the obscure Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State, on the $10,000 US note (did you know that the US Secret Service originated with Lincoln's efforts to curb counterfeiting during the Civil War?). The Art of Money is an entertaining and lustrous tour of cash for design aficionados, history buffs, travelers, and everybody who handles money (or dreams of handling more).
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David Standish is a freelance writer and former articles editor of Playboy. He has contributed to numerous publications, including Smithsonian, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. He lives in Chicago.From Publishers Weekly:
Beginning with the sunflowers on the Netherlands' 50-gulden note (Standish loves them) and ending with the redesigned American fives, tens and twenties (hates them), Standish's handsome, offbeat and color reproduction-stuffed volume displays and describes the world's various paper moneys. Standish, a journalist and former Playboy articles editor, sometimes looks at currency design as a matter of pure aestheticsDwhat colors, where? What kinds of lines, and why? But he also shows how "countries project their self-image through their money," recording their history and deciding what they want their visitors to see. He includes the "tough guys"Dmythic rebels and pre-Columbian godsDon much Latin American dinero; the engraved airplanes on Singapore's money, which promote its national airline; and the countenance of Queen Elizabeth, which graces more nationalities' cash than any other phiz. A "Short History of Money" explains, and depicts, the evolution of coinage and then of bills in Greece, Rome and medieval China, whose reliance on bills gave it, in the 10th century, "the world's first hyperinflation." A final chapter surveys American money, which at various points depicted Washington crossing the Delaware, Ben Franklin with a kite, and "Pocahontas getting baptized." The careful photography of Tony Armour and Joshua Dunn and an unusually fine job of productionDcrisp, fine-grained paper and true-to-bill colorsDreproduce the experience of handling all this exotic cash. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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