GoldBook - 2016
For millennia, across the globe, this gleaming and incorruptible element has beguiled humankind, attracting treasure seekers, artistically adorning the dead and the living, and symbolically representing power, wealth, divinity and eternity. Gold embodies paradoxes: the very softness that made it ill-suited to making tools may have prompted its use as currency, and throughout history it has been used to symbolize the antithesis of true value - in critiques of wealth and idolatry - almost as much as it has compelled admiration. It has also often been a flashpoint for collisions between cultures with very different value systems. Indeed, the questions posed by the human desire for gold are central questions about value itself and about meaning in the broadest sense. 'Gold' offers a lively, critical look at the cultural history of the 'noblest' of metals, examining the history of gold broadly across many cultures and time periods: from controversies surrounding its religious use to its place in the history of colonialism to its modern role in science, gold has played so many roles that it is difficult to fasten the metal itself in one's sights. Together, the book and its many images explore perceptions, myths, stories and facts about gold over the centuries and across the world, providing compelling examples from history, art, literature and film and bringing the story up to the present, a time when the anxieties surrounding gold have changed, but the persistent lust for gold continues to produce new moral and physical perils.
Publisher: London : Reaktion Books, 2016
Branch Call Number: 739.2209 Z768G 2016
Characteristics: 224 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Gold : nature and culture