From the bestselling author of "Empire", Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World" shows that the history of money is the back-story to all history. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot. Call it what you like, it matters now more than ever. From the banking dynasty who funded the Italian Renaissance to the stock market bubble that caused the French Revolution, this is the story of booms and busts as it's never been told before. With the world in the grip of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, there's never been a better time to understand the ascent - and descent - of money. "Beautifully written...Breathtakingly clever". ("Sunday Telegraph"). "A lucid and racy account of financial history". ("New Statesman"). "A fine, readable and entertaining history". (Dominic Sandbrook, "Daily Telegraph" Books of the Year). "The tales he tells of boom and bust, of triumph and disaster, of bubbles that inflate ...are the very essence of financial history". (Bill Emmott, "Financial Times"). "An often enlightening and enjoyable tour through the underside of great events, a lesson in how the most successful great powers have always been underpinned by smart money". (Robert Skidelsky, "New York Review of Books"). Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of "Civilization", "The House of Rothschild", "The Cash Nexus", "The Pity of War", "Colossus", "The War of the World" and "Empire".