GOLD by Milton Meltzer


Age Range: 10 & up
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Meltzer sums up the range and theme of his interesting history in a 14-karat subtitle: The True Story of Why People Search for It, Mine It, Trade It, Steal It, Mint It, Hoard It, Shape It, Wear It, Fight and Kill for It--not quite a 24-karat description, since what Meltzer presents in detail is not "Why" but how people have found, used, and misused gold. From earliest recorded history until the present, gold has been fashioned into beautiful objects, while its miners have been enslaved and used with terrible cruelty. The author (whose adult Slavery was published in 1993) devotes much of the book to this in a worldwide survey that ranges from ancient Egyptian and Roman quotes to recent accounts of South African mines and the exploitation of Peruvian children. More briefly, he discusses changing technology and the economic role of gold, describes a surprising number of gold rushes, and touches on: alchemy, hoarding, historical insights gleaned from artifacts (the ingenious Incas had a chemical technique for gilding), and more. A bit idiosyncratic in its inclusions, but informed, as usual, by Meltzer's strong social conscience and respect for truth, justice, and the facts. (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Dec. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-022983-7
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993


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