One of the best parts of Debt: The First 5,000 Years was pointing out the myth that economies always begin with barter (hint: they never have).
Similarly, whenever a market starts to heat up, we inevitably hear about the tulip bubble in Holland in the 1630’s. Well… turns out those stories are myths as well. Tulipmania: Money, Honor and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age which debunks these myths.has written a book,
She summarizes that story in this post on The Conversation.
I love mythbusting like this, where we find out that truths that are told year after year turn out to be bunk. It’s almost as much fun as discovering that something you thought had been around forever had been invented in your parent’s or grandparent’s lifetime (see Sliced Bread).
But still not as fun as uncovering an assumption that everyone around you is taking for granted.