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From the lost empires of the Sahara to today’s frenzied global gold rush, a blazing exploration of the human love affair with gold by Matthew Hart, the award-winning author of Diamond

"Hart chronicled his travels through the feverish domain of the gold hunters and met some of the world's greatest precious-metal buccaneers."
 --Vanity Fair, November 2013

     In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the price of gold skyrocketed—in three years more than doubling from $800 an ounce to $1900. This massive spike drove an unprecedented global goldmining and exploration boom, much bigger than the Gold Rush of the 1800s. In Gold, acclaimed author Matthew Hart takes you on an unforgettable journey around the world and through history to tell the extraordinary story of how gold became the world’s most precious commodity.
     Beginning with a page-turning dispatch from the crime-ridden inferno of the world’s deepest mine, Hart pulls back to survey gold’s tempestuous past. From the earliest civilizations, 6,000 years ago, when gold was an icon of sacred and kingly power, Hart tracks its evolution, through conquest, murder, and international mayhem, into the speculative casino-chip that the metal has become. Hart describes each boom and bust in gold’s long story, each panic and shock, with writing described as “polished and fiery” (Publishers Weekly), weaving together history and cutthroat economics to reveal the human dramas that have driven our lust for a precious yellow metal.


“Compelling, stylish, and impressively researched.”
– Boston Globe

“Whisks us around the globe and across the centuries with the breezy panache of a seasoned journalist.”
– the Daily Beast

"Dramatically recounted...adept…alive with extraordinary tales…pitched battles for possession of mines with pistols, automatic weapons and homemade artillery…Hart's description of his descent into [Mponeng mine] in pitch dark and through water falling like a light rain is enough to make every nerve in the reader's body twitch."
– National Post

“Absorbing … deceptively breezy…. equally at ease reporting on the intricacies of financial markets and on the wars between legal and illegal miners in rural China and Africa.”
– Columbus Dispatch

“A lucid book …combining the engaging style of a travel narrative with sharp-eyed journalistic exposé.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“A fascinating read… an equally engaging and rollicking style.”
– World Economic Forum

“A splendid job of transporting readers from one defining moment in the history of gold to the next … a Must Read.”
 – mining.com

“Hart is a fine close-in journalist, gathering many engaging facts and anecdotes about gold’s production and endless manipulation within the world economy and human psychology.”
– Kirkus

“From deep within the gold mines of South Africa and China to corporate boardrooms, from miners and thieves to body guards and gold traders, Hart offers a fascinating look at the geology, geopolitics, and economics of gold.”
– Booklist


“Hart tells a great, great story while explaining one of the world’s most mysterious
industries. The book is first-rate and immensely readable.”
—Sebastian Junger, author of War and The Perfect Storm

“Clear-eyed, sharp, intriguing...Matthew Hart is both a crack reporter and a terrific
storyteller, cool enough to detail the rough business and nasty politics of diamonds, but passionate enough to convey their almost magical allure.”
—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin

“A first-class reporter and writer who understands the diamond world in all its complexity.”
Washington Post

“The book is full of delicious morsels.” —The Wall Street Journal


“More fantastic than anything Hollywood could dream up.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Lively history [in which] the heroes really are heroic.”
The Economist