Thursday, April 12, 2012

David Graeber Links, Updated

I have updated the links and videos for David Graeber below, the author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Brooklyn, N.Y., 2011). One addition is Robert P. Murphy’s recent book review of Graeber for The American Conservative. Unfortunately, Murphy’s review seems little more than a rehash of his discredited and ignorant critiques of Graeber written last year (see below under “II. Links”).

I. My Posts on David Graeber and Debt: The First 5,000 Years

“David Graeber on Debt and Money, Part 2,” February 9, 2012.

“David Graeber versus Robert Murphy: A Review,” January 24, 2012.

“David Graeber on the Origins of Money,” January 23, 2012.

“The Origins of Money,” January 8, 2012.

“David Graeber Videos,” January 2, 2012.

II. Links

Graeber, David, 2009. “Debt: The First Five Thousand Years,”, 20th August.
An early summary of Graeber’s work on debt.

“What is Debt? – An Interview with Economic Anthropologist David Graeber,”, August 26, 2011.
The original interview with Graeber that sparked the debate.

Gene Callahan, “Fiat Currency,” Saturday, August 27, 2011.
A summary of Graeber’s interview that sparked off a debate between Gene Callahan and Robert Murphy.

Robert P. Murphy, “Have Anthropologists Overturned Menger?,” Mises Daily, September 1, 2011.
This is Robert P. Murphy’s response to Graeber’s interview at

Robert Murphy, “David Graeber’s Response to My Article,”, September 8, 2011.
This is a summary of David Graeber’s comments on Robert P. Murphy’s article “Have Anthropologists Overturned Menger?.”

Robert Murphy, “Murphy Replies to David Graeber on Menger and Money,”, September 8, 2011.
This is Murphy’s reply to David Graeber’s comments.

David Graeber, “On the Invention of Money – Notes on Sex, Adventure, Monomaniacal Sociopathy and the True Function of Economics. A Reply to Robert Murphy’s ‘Have Anthropologists Overturned Menger?,’” September 13, 2011.
David Graeber’s final response to Murphy, published on

Gavin Kennedy, “Review Of David Graeber’s 5,000 Years of Debt (part 1),” Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy, December 5, 2011.
This is part 1 of an 8 part review you can get on this blog.

Chris Bertram, “Seminar on David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years – Introduction,” February 22, 2012.

Robert P. Murphy, “Origin of the Specie. Debt: The First 5,000 Years, David Graeber,” The American Conservative, April 11, 2012.

Robert P. Murphy, “Murphy vs. Graeber on Money, Round 2,” Free Advice, 11 April 2012.

III. Videos
David Graeber at Authors@Google

C-spanvideo interview
“Debt: The First 5,000 Years,” C-span Interview (by Doug Henwood), August 23, 2011.


  1. How come you haven't included the CT seminar?

  2. Out of curiosity Lord Keynes, have you read Gavin Kennedy's review of David Graeber's book?

  3. Honestly, who cares HOW money originated? The cat's already out of the bag, so to speak--once people have the idea of money, there's no going back to anything else. Even assuming that the Mengerian or Smithian fables about the origin of money are wholly inaccurate (still a BIG if), if money magically disappeared tomorrow, you can bet your last dollar (zing!) that some money substitute would spring up from the market, and the snowballing process favoring certain commodities for use as money would occur (as it did with cigarettes in POW camps, and mackerel packets in today's US prisons).

  4. Blue Aurora@Apr 12, 2012 07:54 AM

    Yes, I have read a few of Gavin Kennedy's reviews of David Graeber.

  5. Unlearningecon@Apr 12, 2012 07:48 AM

    I have added a link to the CT seminar.

  6. If you don't mind me asking, why haven't you read the whole review? I know it's long, but I think you can get better insights out of Adam Smith's approach to money from Gavin Kennedy. Adam Smith can still provide insight, if you read the Wealth of Nations completely and interpet it properly.

  7. Short answer: time.

    Of the 8 reviews I've read probably half. Some don't even mention Smith at all or only marginally.

    I've added a link to the first of Gavin Kennedy's reviews.