Pieces of Eight : The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution [Hardcover] by Edwin Vieira Jr.

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Dr. Vieira is the most un-Harvard-lawyer-like Harvard lawyer you will ever meet. The “Dr.” comes from his Ph.D. in chemistry from the same institution, which he earned a few years before he went back and got his J.D. He is among the foremost Constitutonal scholars in the U.S., and the undisputed expert on the history and Constitutional Law of Money and Banking.

If you really want to learn something about American History, the History of Money, or the devolution over the past 150 years of what passes for ‘Law’ in these united States, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Pieces of Eight is an exhaustive, detailed, and copiously footnoted (but highly readable, and routinely fascinating) compilation, synthesis, and exegesis of the history and Constitutional Law (and un-Constitutional ‘law’!) of money and banking in the U.S, and is the result of a lifetime of research by a tenacious, literate, and truly a constitutionally smart man who is 3 for 4 in front of the Supreme Court.

If you want to know what the Framers of the Constitution really knew about money — actually, quite a lot, certainly MUCH more than our purported “representatives” today — and why they put VERY specific language in the Constituton to ensure the proper rôle of money and banking consistent with a Free society, this book lays it out in stark, clear terms. In particular, if you want the definitive, airtight (and sordid) answers to politically incorrect questions such as “Why has nobody ever challenged the clearly unconstitutional Fed’s constitutionality in court?”, this book is the only place you’re going to find them.

As Dr. Vieira mentions in his recent announcement at the gata.org website, the first printing came along at a time when our monetary, economic, and political situation was only marginally less dire than it is today, but even so, marginally enough that Pieces of Eight received less notice at the time than it so overwhelmingly deserves. In the intervening time, the book has begun to become recognized, and our situation has deteriorated to the point at which even the most obtuse among us have begun to sense that something is deeply, deeply, wrong, even if they can’t put their finger on what it is. Pieces of Eight nails the source of the wrongness indelibly to the wall. In the words of an Amazon review appearing as of this writing: “Reading the last few chapters of this the 2d edition released in 2002 is like reading prophecy about the economic situation that the US is experiencing in 2009.”

Hosea 4:6 seems to be very appropriate, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Dr. Vieira is taking the risk that there are a sufficient number of people out there who care enough about our Republic to take the effort to learn what TRULY went wrong, and how to fix it. If there are not, and the free market of ideas (what little is left of it and the 1st Amendment, anyway) does not choose to support it, then we are all truly, utterly, and completely screwed anyway.

Our Founding Fathers believed a man placed in a position of power had a tendency to abuse that power. It was for this reason they determined to have a monetary system of value based metal, because they had so much “rag money” of worthless paper which had built up throughout the war period.

This book is by far the greatest resource for the history of money of the United States, starting prior to its very inception. Since I am on the mend from surgery I have nothing but time to use as I desire…this was one of my goals. God blessed me with a desire to learn & expand my horizons. During this entire healing period I’ve had at least 3-4 books started. It is truly amazing what a person can do with the gifts God has given us!

Godspeed & Good Reads!
Doc Murf

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