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

Frozen Desire: Meaning of Money Paperback


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$8.99 $4.56

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers (October 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566491800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566491808
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By maddicat@aol.com on November 8, 1997
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 Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1998
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 Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
James Buchan has written an enthralling book about the history and impact of money. He treats money as an evolving concept from early Greek writings to symbolic references in art. He considers the ability of money to speak for human desire, including its role in the primary needs to wage war and to make love. The book's style shifts from detailed historical review to literary criticism, so it is not always an easy read, but it is always fascinating. We at getAbstract recommend this book to executives who want to learn more about money's intrinsic power. Read it to learn how money shapes your world in ways you may not have considered.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark K. Jensen on December 28, 2009
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 Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa6d14da4)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?