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eBook Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money ePub

by James Buchan

eBook Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money ePub
Author: James Buchan
Language: English
ISBN: 0374257051
ISBN13: 978-0374257057
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (T); 1st edition (October 1997)
Subcategory: No category
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 189
Formats: txt docx txt mbr
ePub file: 1384 kb
Fb2 file: 1971 kb

James Buchan, Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, October 1997; Welcome Rain Publishers paperback, November 2001); originally published in . by Picador in September 1997

James Buchan, Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, October 1997; Welcome Rain Publishers paperback, November 2001); originally published in . by Picador in September 1997. oney is incarnate desire" the things which are Caesar's; and unto (19)-an idea already present in John God the things that are God's" was Briscoe's A Discourse of Money (1696) tactically effective in the short term but (105). "fatal" in the long term because it "seemed to be authorizing the creation of Epigraph.

Items related to Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money. BUCHAN, JAMES Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money. ISBN 13: 9780330355278. Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money.

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In Frozen Desire, the chase never fails to entertain. Whether or not money is humanity's greatest invention, its meanings reveal a great deal about human nature; in showing us what we think of money, James Buchan shows us who we are. James Buchan's other books include The Golden Plough (1995), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and High Latitudes (1996). A former correspondent for the Financial Times, he lives in London. JAMES BUCHAN Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money.

In Frozen Desire, James Buchan (also a prize-winning novelist) tracks the progress of money through art, literature .

In Frozen Desire, James Buchan (also a prize-winning novelist) tracks the progress of money through art, literature, war, religion, sex and democracy. The Christian Gospels, for instance, "glitter with money" he notes, even as Jesus himself stands there penniless. Unsure why it started, the book upends itself by closing with precisely that hopeless, romantic idealism that, for better or worse, has been repeatedly beaten (as Buchan himself proves), calling for "values that cannot fit on the money scale".

Frozen Desire : The Psychology of Money. Money, James Buchan contends, is civilization's greatest invention. All manner of things can be called money, almost all human beings have a vivid sense of what money is, and virtually every culture has given money an ideal existence. Yet money, which we hope to see and hold every day, is diabolically hard to comprehend in words.

As Buchan explains, money is "frozen desire" - and because money can fulfill any mortal purpose, for many people the pursuit of money becomes the point of life. In a learned and elegant survey, Buchan illuminates the many different views of money across the centuries. Money was a subject in Homer and Herodotus. In Buchan's view, money is civilizations's greatest invention. All manner of things can be called money, and almost every culture has given money an ideal existence. Even so, Buchan points out, "money, which we see and hold 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.

Find sources: "James Buchan" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February . Frozen Desire: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Money (1997).

Find sources: "James Buchan" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). The Honourable James Buchan (born 11 June 1954) is a Scottish novelist and historian. Buchan is the son of the late William Buchan, 3rd Baron Tweedsmuir, and grandson of John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, the Scottish novelist and diplomat. He has several brothers and sisters, including the writer Perdita Buchan.

Buchanan goes further than explaining the function of money is separate to the meaning or value that we (those involved in. .

Buchanan goes further than explaining the function of money is separate to the meaning or value that we (those involved in a transaction at a given moment in time) place on the money we are using. I instantly thought of current conversations that are swirling around the academic qualifications that our schools and universities offer to hundreds of thousands of students every year. If money is frozen desire, are our educational qualifications frozen potential ? An indication of how we and the organisations in which we graduated value our potential at that given moment, based on evidence compiled through a series of tasks, actions and interactions?

Longitude Temporary
First, a quick sample, and not the most graceful passage, rather clunky and businesslike, but showing the nuggets to be found, rooting here, which are everywhere, page after page: here is the best compact description of modern big banks and our times (2008 and all), capturing in an almost offhand sweep of the author's pen the roots going back 150 years to England (mind you, in a 1997 book):

"... Parliament [in 1879] reformed the [banking-corporate] law, permitting limited liability to banking companies other than the Bank of England: that had the perverse effect of making banks even more irresponsible and, now that their deposits are de jure or de facto guaranteed by the state, they have become, with a handful of exceptions, institutional imbeciles that loses their capital once in every cycle of cheap and dear money. ..." (Pg. 209.)

I take extended walks, often on trails, gazing off to various horizons, imbibing books. (It is usually audio on trails, sometimes running plus listening, but I can read print books and hike). Point being, I love all kinds of odd and challenging stimuli: the outdoors, bodily challenges, challenges to the thinking and reflecting mind, often all at once.. This book is a perfect companion for that approach, even if read in bed or bathtub! Think of an author with a sheer gift for words, wrapping money concepts in and around all sorts of well-illuminated historical scenes, traipsing across wonderful and often wicked portraits of characters, and great snippets of their best ideas. Here are kings, prostitutes, poets, con-artists. Here are minds and events as I've never seen them, different takes on Adam Smith, Karl Marx, tulip mania (to cite more familiar ones), on and on, page after page, and piercing quotes from many brilliant souls unheard of. It all parades from back in the recesses of time, all the while holding up the ideas of money and its uses (and interfaces with all aspects of ourselves) to every light and angle. Societies rise up in money-addled ecstasy and crash on the reefs of the same. The language and thinking are colorful and made with a joyous wink. Lyrical, virtuoso, funny, made with a flourish. This is my grail, this I seek in my self-education in recent years. This surpasses in depth, intensity and richness all my past in law school, etc. This time around, I do it for joy, in this sort of wide, looping style of indirection, wanderings, sure I will find critical insights along this path. And I do find them: this is the liberation of the intellectual from a thousand little traps set in this biological soup of manipulation and purposeful distractions we call "society". This book liberates me, and not a little, and spoils me every inch of the way with its nimbleness of language and thought, its new angles on things I thought I knew, things I have read multiple books on! I daresay it is my all-time favorite book, ever (though I say this a few times every year). As I tell students, if you only take at face value the slick and shiny surfaces nowadays tossed up right in your face,,dancing with superficiality and distraction by design, you will not reach the heights of the smart money, or the even greater depths of a real philosopher, here paraded so brilliantly. Here I get new insights on every single page, and often two or three. And in this, it dances all the way. For personal use, I'm going to read this, record a copy to listen to, maybe once a year. It's that good, with this praise coming from a guy who reads 2-3 books per week.
A person without a fair background in European history, ideas and letters (a great start: Clark's 'Civilisation' in print), and nimble reading skills, and a sheer love of words, might flounder here, and see this as needlessly complex gobbledegook. With all respect, I'm sorry for you. Your joys lie elsewhere. This book liberates me from my own ignorance every time I pick it up. ,
BoberMod
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.
Beardana
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.
Thordigda
I stumbled across this book whilst reading a compilation of book reviews by Frank Kermode (itself well worth reading). It sounded interesting and had clearly been found to be both informative and enjoyable by someone widely regarded as one of the foremost literary critics of the last few decades.
Frozen desire is an interesting mix of historical information, monetary theory, literary allusion and personal opinion. It contains accounts of the early origins of money and a consideration of what money really is (beyond the dollars and cents). There are generally understandable (to the non specialist such as this reader) accounts of key developments such as double entry book keeping and the development of the concept of credit. But it is much more than a finance manual containing as it does biographical backgrounds for key figures, such as John Law (unknown to me), Karl Marx and many others. There is an interesting chapter on the author's forebears and their involvement with the financial world. And, as mentioned, it is full of literary allusions from classical Greece through to the 20th century. It does become somewhat polemical towards the end with the authors anticipation (and apparent hope) that the time is coming when money will be displaced from its current place as the modern world's surrogate divinity.
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