The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations

Whether building a road or fighting a war, leaders from ancient Mesopotamia to the present have relied on financial accounting to track their state’s assets and guide its policies. Basic accounting tools such as auditing and double-entry bookkeeping form the basis of modern capitalism and the nation-state. Yet our appreciation for accounting and its formative role througho
Sheila

Apr 29, 2014

marked it as to-read

Adding this to my list because of an op-ed, No Accounting Skills? No Moral Reckoning. I found it both fascinating:

In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries and their families. The famous Italian merchant Francesco Datini wrote “In the Name of God and Profit” in his ledger books. Merchants like Datini (and later Benjamin Franklin) kept moral account books, too, tallying th


In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries and their families. The famous Italian merchant Francesco Datini wrote “In the Name of God and Profit” in his ledger books. Merchants like Datini (and later Benjamin Franklin) kept moral account books, too, tallying their sins and good acts the way they tallied income and expenditure.

and WTFy:

Over the past half century, people have stopped learning double-entry bookkeeping — so much so that few know what it means — leaving it instead to specialists and computerized banking. If we want stable, sustainable capitalism, a good place to start would be to make double-entry accounting and basic finance part of the curriculum in high school, as they were in Renaissance Florence and Amsterdam.

I look forward to seeing what the book itself has to offer.
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Dan

Mar 25, 2017

rated it
it was ok

 · 
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
europe

there was potential for an interesting book here. accounting is indeed a powerful set of ideas, little known by the wider population, and i don’t doubt that as the book’s blurb says different understandings of it have shaped how empires, nations, ethnic groups have fared. an accountancy professor at a good US university, well-connected (long list of thanks in the acknowledgements) should be an ideal guide. and soll has done some research. the best of the book are the many great historical anecdo

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