Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Benjamin Kunkel writes:

Graeber, an American who teaches anthropology at Goldsmith’s in London, is a veteran of the alter-globalisation movement, which sought debt forgiveness for the global South. Closely involved in planning the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan that began last September, Graeber, who describes himself as an anarchist, joined those successfully advocating a non-hierarchical or ‘horizontal’ organisation of the encampment: deliberation by consensus, no formal leadership. In person Graeber is brilliant, if somewhat hectic, plain-spoken, erudite, quick to indignation as to well as to laughter, and – minus the laugh – he offers much the same heady experience on the page. Debt is probably best considered as a long, written-out lecture, informal in style, not as a conventional work of history, economics or anthropology.

(LRB 10 May 2012)

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