Frozen Desire

The Meaning of Money
James Buchan
ISBN 9781566491808 (paperback)
Published in October 2001
MSRP $15.00
"The best single book I have seen on the history, sociology, literature, cultures, and philosophy of money. This book is my pick of the year for any intelligent and broadly curious reader."
- Worth Magazine
"A highly opinionated, literate and witty study of money and its unusually pernicious impact on our culture. Part economic treatise, part literary concordance, part autobiography, this well-written thought-provoking book [gives] a glittering grace and spirit to lucre."
- Publisher's Weekly
"Buchan's unusual and inspired history of money resembles his fiction writing more than his reporting for the Financial Times because it is so imaginative, impressionistic, anecdotal, and philosophical - mixing facts with astute observations, and writing lovely complex sentences that seem to unwind from a far more gracious era than the present."
- Library Journal
According to James Buchan, money is civilization's greatest invention. All manner of things can be called money, and almost every culture has given money an ideal existence. Even so, he points out that money, which we hold and see every day is diabolically hard to comprehend in words. It is this very elusiveness that is at the root of money's power to seduce. Money is 'frozen desire' and because money can fulfill any mortal purpose, for many people the pursuit of money becomes the point of life.

Whether or not money is humanity's greatest invention, its meanings reveal a great deal about human nature. In showing us what we thing of money, Buchan shows us a lot about who we are.

James Buchan was for ten years a foreign correspondent of the Financial Times, reporting from the Middle East, Germany, Central Europe and US. His first novel A Parish of Rich Women won four major literary prizes including the Whitbread First Novel Award. His other highly successful books include High Latitude and A Good Place to Die and Guardian Fiction Award-winning Heart's Journey in Winter.