Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Frozen Desire: Meaning of Money Paperback – October 24, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$39.95 $18.05

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Novelist Buchan (High Latitudes, Farrar, 1996), a former correspondent for the Financial Times, traces the meaning of money since its beginning. He discusses money in its various formats, emphasizing that money itself is not just an object but "an outcome of a vast mountain of social arrangements." Various scenarios depict the role of money in love, war, religion, and other areas of human culture. Buchan uses many historical and literary works to clarify the perception of money throughout the ages, relying on Aristotle, Columbus, Shakespeare, John Law, Marx, and Keynes, to name a few, in these stimulating discussions. Although he writes in a scholarly style, Buchan his many suspenseful and intriguing passages. Recommended for public and academic libraries.?Steven J. Mayover, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A discursive and idiosyncratic appreciation of currency, from British novelist and former Financial Times correspondent Buchan (High Latitudes, 1996, etc.), who, the subtitle notwithstanding, never manages to construe its many-splendored meanings. Drawing on a wealth of sources, the author offers hit-or-miss audits of the mediums of exchange humankind has used and abused down through the years. Characterizing money as ``incarnate desire'' (in the sense that takes individual wishes and transmits them to the wider world), he compares the dichotomous teachings of Jesus with those of Muslim prophets, who viewed the religious and socioeconomic spheres as an indivisible whole. Buchan goes on to assess the varied implications of coinage, the just-price construct of medieval theologians, the invention of double-entry bookkeeping by Fra Luca Pacioli, Europe's lust for precious metals in the Age of Discovery, and the emergence of bank notes (which undermined the sovereignty of monarchs). Covered as well are the fiscal discipline a gold standard imposes on spendthrift governments, the sundry roles played by money in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, the latter-day ascendancy of creditors (including junk-bond king Michael Milken) over borrowers, and capital as the sine qua non of belligerencies ranging from revolutions through wars of conquest. At the close, however, Buchan abruptly changes course. In the stated hope that the Age of Money (like the Age of Faith before it) will soon draw to an end, he exits with an impassioned albeit unsubstantiated diatribe indicting money as the principal cause of environmental destruction, global warming, overdevelopment, perpetual conflict, and other ills to which modern civilization is heir. These often murky essays will add precious little to anyone's understanding of what makes the world go around. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers (October 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566491800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566491808
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
James Buchan is not apt to win friends or influence people in the world of commerce with the views put forth in this book, but he has won my undying gratitude. His strong opinions caused me to reflect deeply on the meaning of money in my own life and my responsibilties towards it. While I disagree strongly with some of his conclusions, I admire both his scholarship and his literary skills. My hat is off to this masterpiece of misarguria.
1 Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is hard to categorize...is it philosophy, economics, history or essay? It has to be all of these, and while it is not fully satisfactory in any of these categories, never quite reaching its stated and implied aims, it is a fascinating read. For one thing it is beautifully written, in a rich meandering prose, which gives the seemingly dull subject a shine like the gold around which the tale is woven. There are fascinating characters, stories and vignettes, and the book suceeds in at least stirring the reader to question the nature of money, even if it does not provide answers.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
James Buchan has produced a history of money: thoroughly researched, scholarly,and accurate; But also, highly opinionated, literate and a joy to read. This is not the money of the economists or the financiers...this is the money of the writers and artists..... it probably wont help you make any money, but it will give you a lot to think about. Highly recommended.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buchan's extraordinary breadth of knowledge spans centuries and subjects - doubtless a fitting example of both the opulent educational system of post war Great Britain and a long apprenticeship at the Financial Times. This is a book to chew through, and my copy is now covered with notes and underlining. But what is it about? Money, value, desire, the change in perception of money over the ages (from the Greeks to us)- philosophy, economics, psychology, history, fiction (in the form of Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare, no less) are all handmaidens to Buchan's task. I highly recommend it. Written in the '90's, prescient about the collapse of 2000 and the debacle of 2007, if it is not now in print, it should be.

My one fault is its ending: Buchan, romantic, product, perhaps of the class which Thatcher so rudely (and rightly) unseated, speaks about an end to the age of money (shadows of Thomas Hardy's Winter words!) but what is it, and how will it come about? For us to discover, I suppose.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very unusual and original work that the author acknowledges to be "amateur and impressionistic" (11). Its manner is highly personal. Buchan challenges the reader with opaque, cryptic, sometimes hyperbolic modes of expression. An erudite man, he assumes his reader is well grounded in history and literature.

Buchan's thinking is often difficult to follow and is expressed in a manner designed to force the reader to slow down and reflect. This is a book for pondering and rereading. As he anticipated (268), professional readers have tended to dismiss it. One wrote: "'Frozen Desire' [shows] and the ticks and twitches of too much research, too many lost hours amongst the library stacks, show on almost every page. Unsure why it started, the book upends itself by closing with . . . hopeless, romantic idealism." But ecologist Peter Warshall of Whole Earth Catalog, who holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard, called Buchan "the only nonfiction writer willing to trek into this dangerous world . . . His breadth is huge, from Homer to Rembrandt to liability/asset management to John Law. And quixotic. . . . An accomplished writer with a roller-coaster style that loops you back to read the best paragraphs two or three times."

Buchan hoped 'Frozen Desire' would "survive for a while as a sort of by-way of the study of money, like an alley one enters to escape the blinding, crowded street" (268), and there are many signs that this has come to pass.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book which gives a detailed explanation and description of "money", to include the history of money, you will not easily find it in this book. I've always thought that "money" could be roughly described as a useful medium of exchange, at least as a starting point. I wanted to learn more. Instead I found this book to be meandering, very "literary" and often confusing. The author seems to have only one main goal in this book - to expose himself and his literary skills, as evidenced by all the flowery language, the metaphors and the references made to his own historical experiences. As one positive reviewer put it, "this is not the money of the economists or the financiers...this is the money of the writers and artists". That is a brief description but a good one, which is one reason I can not recommend this book. As another positive reviewer put it, this book "is an interesting mix of historical information, monetary theory, literary allusion and personal opinion". Not quite. Instead it is a somewhat CONFUSING mix of historical information, monetary theory, literary allusion and personal opinion. And yet that reviewer gave this book 4 stars. For all of that I give this book only one star - not recommended.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: philosophy of history