The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve System, by G. Edward Griffin
As someone who has been to Jekyll Island on multiple occasions, I find it deeply humorous that the small Georgia island has acquired a dark reputation in American political circles for its role as the place where a group of financiers decided how to construct the current banking system of the United States. This book is a masterpiece of polemical writing, written by someone who has something to say that has often been said but seldom as well as he happens to say it, and also from someone who has some genuine insights that have been borne out concerning the problems of debt and its relationship to the contemporary economy. If this book is somewhat pessimistic, the author expresses some hope that Americans will become more economically savvy, which seems overly optimistic as far as I am concerned. Even so, this is a book that begins with a lot of factual reportage and then gradually moves into more speculative but generally sound matters and even discusses some of the thornier issues of opposition to the banks that exist in the contemporary world regarding the identity of the international bankers and how that has profited other bankers.
This sprawling work of more than 500 pages is divided into six parts and 26 chapters. The first six chapters look at the creature of the Federal Reserve itself with a discussion of how it was that the meeting in Jekyll Island took place (1), the importance of the bailout game (2), the desire to be viewed as defending the republic (3), the importance of loans (4) and the desire for profits (5) as well as the goal of building a new world order through financial control (6). The author then spends four chapters talking about the history of money, including how money was created by medieval goldsmiths (7), the fool’s gold of financial troubles (8), the secret science of banking (9), and the mechanism of fractional banking (10). Four chapters discuss the alchemy of international finance in World War I with the rise of the Rothschild family (11), the sinking of the Lusitania (12), as well as the financing of the Russian Revolution (13, 14). The next section looks at the history of American banking in several chapters. After that the author discusses in four chapters a look at the harvest of the federal reserve system. Finally, the author speculates on potential ways that the future could work out if various conditions are met. There are lists of illustrations and three appendices that discuss the structure of the federal reserve system (i), various natural laws (ii), and the question of whether Q1 is subtractive or accumulative (iii), after which the book ends with a biblioraphy and index.
Perhaps the book’s biggest contribution, besides its excellence in discussing how and why the Federal Reserve came to be and how it is viewed by people and how even writings that were favorable to it became difficult to appreciate once the material became problematic, is the way it praises a conspiratorial view of history itself. Admittedly, conspiracy theories have a bad reputation, but one has to judge among them based on the facts of the matter, because there are conspiracies in history and there are also widely inaccurate conspiracy theories, and so one has to view them on a case by case basis rather than accepting or rejecting them out of hand. This book is a fascinating mixture of excellent historical reasoning and provocative discussion and analysis of trends and prediction that manages to talk about contentious political and historical matters while being fair-minded to those involved and avoiding the sort of anti-Semitism that is all too common when it comes to reading critical and negative comments about banks and bankers. If this book is not a perfect book, it is certainly a very compelling book about a fascinating and interesting subject, and that counts for a lot.