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Short Synopsis
As entertaining as it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous journey through the history of human desire for what is rare, and therefore precious.

Full Synopsis
What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel priceless? And why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.

What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire. Jewelry—which has long served as a stand-in for wealth and power, glamour and success—has birthed cultural movements, launched political dynasties, and started wars. Masterfully weaving together pop science and history, Stoned breaks history into three categories—Want, Take, and Have—and explains what the diamond on your finger has to do with the GI Bill, why green-tinted jewelry has been exalted by so many cultures, why the glass beads that bought Manhattan for the Dutch were initially considered a fair trade, and how the French Revolution started over a coveted necklace.

Studded with lively personalities and fascinating details, Stoned tells the remarkable story of our abiding desire for the rare and extraordinary.

"Stoned is an intriguing take on world history with plenty of adornment and anecdote to entertain us along the way." ---Self Awareness

"A gem of a study into all that enchants and bewitches." ---Booklist

"A lively, incisive cultural and social history." ---Kirkus

"Raden's commentary on the often ugly side of human desire through the ages is consistently captivating…" ---Publishers Weekly

"[H]umor will keep readers interested." ---Library Journal


Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World

Author Aja Raden

Narrated by Justine Eyre

Publication date Feb 16, 2016

Running time 11 hrs

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