My book, Good Money, is in press at long last, and will be available in July. Here is the Independent Institute's description of the book, which shows the very nice cover they and University of Michigan Press designed for it.
GOOD MONEY: Private Enterprise and Popular Coinage: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775-1821 By George Selgin
In Good Money, George Selgin tells the story of a fascinating and important yet almost unknown episode in the history of moneyBritish manufacturers challenge to the Crowns monopoly on coinage.
In the 1780s, when the Industrial Revolution was gathering momentum, the Royal Mint failed to produce enough small-denomination coinage for factory owners to pay their workers. As the currency shortage threatened to derail industrial progress, manufacturers began to mint custom-made coins, called tradesmans tokens. Rapidly gaining wide acceptance, these tokens served as the nations most popular currency for wages and retail sales until 1821, when the Crown outlawed all moneys except its own.
Good Money not only examines the crucial role of private coinage in fueling Great Britains Industrial Revolution, but it also challenges beliefs upon which all modern government-currency monopolies rest. It thereby sheds light on contemporary private-sector alternatives to government-issued money, such as digital monies, cash cards, electronic funds transfer, and (outside of the United States) spontaneous dollarization.
6 x 9
George Selgins story of how private enterprise solved a monetary problem that threatened seriously to retard the Industrial Revolution is a splendid piece of historical analysis. He has done an incredible job of unearthing all of the details of what went on in Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It is a fine example of historical research. Milton Friedman, Recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
Good Money has a splendid mixture of monetary economics, numismatics and industrial historywith a particular focus on the central role of Birmingham in the United Kingdom's industrial revolution. While the main focus of the book, the private sector provision of copper coins in the UK, 1787-1817, may appear quite specialized, the lessons that may be drawn from it, for example about the roles of the public and private sectors in the provision of money, are much more general and wider in scope. George Selgin demonstrates a remarkable breadth and depth of scholarship in this multi-discipline work. I heartedly recommend it. Charles A. E. Goodhart, Norman Sosnow Professor of Banking and Finance, London School of Economics
I anxiously await the publication of Good Money. Taking a totally fresh approach to not only the examination of the British token coinage, but also the role of money as a medium of exchange, this is a work that will delight token collectors and general numismatists alike. Good Money is no stale academic textI was charmed by the author's Ramble 'Round Old Birmingham as surely as I was enlightened throughout by his meticulous research. Numismatists are readers and researchers at heart and I've no doubt that Good Money will meet with an enthusiastic response within our community." Harold Welch, Vice President, Conder Token Collector's Club
For more information, or to order the book, see: GOOD MONEY: Private Enterprise and Popular Coinage: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775-1821 (http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=75)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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