Saturday, November 01, 2008

Currency Wars

John Cooley's Currency Wars (2008) isn't a numismatic book. It describes itself as 'true crime'. It covers the use of forged paper money in modern times to destabilize economies and for simple financial gain.

The lack of pictures makes the book irritating from a numismatic perspective. I wanted pictures comparing the genuine notes and the forged notes. The book has no pictures at all, not even of the crooks!

I was disappointed that Cooley emphasized the masterminds rather than the actual forgers and printers. In cases like the Portuguese forgery of the 1920s this wasn't a problem because there were no forgers (the swindlers there convinced the printers who made currency for the government to make currency for them.)

I recommend this book to anyone interested in modern counterfeiting. The author has done serious research and I learned a lot from it. The Amazon link above has a preview feature ('search inside this book') and I also saw the book on the shelves in an actual bookstore (a Borders) which is unusual for anything numismatic-related!

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