...and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year


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6.6 X 9.5 X 0.7 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Hudson is a veteran of Wall Street and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Professor of Economics at Peking University. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), and the co-editor of The International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE) series (5 volumes), sponsored by the Harvard Peabody Museum. He has consulted with the U.S. and foreign governments on taxation, balance of payments, financial bubbles, land policy and financial reform. He gives speeches, lectures and presentations throughout the world for official and unofficial groups reflecting diverse academic, economic and political constituencies. This book, ...and forgive them their debts, is Volume I of the trilogy, THE TYRANNY OF DEBT.


The American economist Michael Hudson has written a fascinating book, . . . and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year on the historical antecedents of the Mosaic debt jubilee. The work of Assyriologists has shown that by the third millennium BC, the rulers of the ancient Near East understood the necessity of repeated debt forgiveness. The alternative was, he writes, "economic polarisation, bondage and collapse". The relevance of this history to the world of today seems clear: debt is necessary; too much debt is disastrous.
- Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

Michael Hudson is surely the most innovative, and in my view, the most important economic historian of the last half century. This is the consummate product of more than 30 years of research on the history of a subject that could not be more important to our own situation today. We like to use the term "ancient history" as a code-word for "of no possible relevance to matters of consequence today." This book clearly demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth. If we don't take heed, ancient history is likely to engulf us in ways that will shatter our complacency in the most disastrous of ways. Hudson is giving us a desperately needed warning, and we would do well to pay very close attention.
- David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, author of the international bestseller, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Michael Hudson's excavation of the ancient historical roots of the Jubilee, Sabbath or sabbatical principle, common to all the Abrahamic faiths, makes this book an essential read for those who want to deepen their understanding of the world's great religions. As someone in the leadership of the international Jubilee 2000 campaign, I have always believed that the Judaic and Christian principle of Jubilee - the periodic correction of economic imbalances - was a principle of social justice deeply embedded in the human psyche. Prof. Hudson's account of the evolution of creditor-debtor relationships, as well as of the development of the rate of interest in ancient Assyria makes this book of particular relevance to historians of western economic thought and practice. But above all, his book reminds us that human history is littered with bitter struggles between debtors and their creditors, between the landed and the landless, and between workers and rentiers. And that the struggle continues.
- Ann Pettifor, Political Economist, Director of PRIME, Economic Adviser to Jeremy Corbyn and the British Labour Party

Michael Hudson reveals the real meaning of "forgive us our sins." It has far more to do with throwing the moneylenders out of the Temple than today's moneylenders would like you to know.
- Steve Keen, Economist, recipient of the Revere Award for Economics for his blog, Debtwatch at debtdeflation.com/blogs/

Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world... Readers often ask me how they can learn economics. My answer is to spend many hours with Hudson's books. You will understand economics better than any Nobel Prize-winning economist.
- Paul Craig Roberts, former Under-Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (Reagan Administration) and author of The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West