In this episode, we look at the history of financial exchange to explore issues of money, power and politics. What can history tell us about monetary innovations like cryptocurrencies and policy attempts to address economic injustice? Do the poor benefit from inclusion in the dominant monetary system, or would they fare better devising their own means of exchange?
Talking at Birkbeck, University of London earlier this year, Professor Rebecca Spang looks back to the era of the French Revolution to explore the power dynamics of decentralized currencies.
Rebecca Spang has been a member of the History Workshop editorial collective for eighteen years. Professor of History at Indiana University, she is the author of The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture and Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (both published by Harvard University Press).