Jacob Soll is a Professor of History and Accounting at the University of Southern California, and received his doctorate from Cambridge University. He is the author of Publishing The Prince, which won the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society, and The Information Master. A MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow, Soll writes regularly for the New York Times, Book Forum, and The New Republic.
Wry and lucid... In [Soll's] hands, accountability and accountancy
becomes a way of investigating the rise and fall of nations....
Without political will, financial accountability remains toothless,
but what scope is there for rigorous accountability when the
accountancy firms behind banks and corporations thought too big to
fail are already their advisers and representatives? Perhaps some
rather old lessons from the surprisingly exciting history of
accountancy can help us deal with these not so very new problems *
Financial Times *
Mr. Soll spices his story with big historical personalities.... [He] earns high marks for brevity...as well as for scholarship * Wall Street Journal *
Jacob Soll develops the case that double entry ranks with gravitation, calculus and relativity, as he uses the history of accounting to provide insight into business and political history * Prospect *
Who would imagine that a history of accounting and double-entry bookkeeping could be so engaging? Yet in this concise, sharply argued book, Jacob Soll deftly examines and explains the remarkable impact that the practice of accounting has had on the rise-and sometimes the fall-of nation states -- Jack Rakove, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
A tale of power, empire, art and culture-and of their half-hidden puppetmasters from the Roman Empire to the Gilded Age -- James K. Galbraith, author of The End of Normal
A dramatic story of politics, morality, printing, temptation and the destiny of economic society -- Emma Rothschild, author of Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet and the Enlightenment