"Fascinating...Kaufman has a sharp eye for colorful anecdotes and a witty and incisive prose style. The result is an appealing compendium of musings and money-related minutiae." — Publishers Weekly
"[A] scholarly history of cash and its metaphorical significance...Tracing the impact of the rise of financial markets, Kaufman links events and ideas as disparate as Richard Nixon's decision to untether the dollar from gold and Claude Lévi-Strauss' concept of the 'floating signifier.'" -—Kirkus Reviews
About the book:
In his scintillating, controversial history The Money Plot: A History of Currency's Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipulate, Frederick Kaufman, delves into the past 65,000 years to demystify the concept of money, and see through the fog of modern finance to understand how the Federal Reserve creates those promised trillions – and the twisted path that led here. The Money Plots reminds us that whether its form is polished shells, bills or Bitcoin, the truth at the core of every currency, even federally mandated trillions, is that it’s all a fiction. Currency is simply a fairy tale, a metaphor that humans have believed in and worshipped more than anything else on Earth. Kaufman doesn’t mince words in pointing out the money-fiction absurdity on which we’ve built and destroyed societies, invaded and been conquered. In our contemporary world, where most money exists in a complex yet poorly understood web of computer screen abstraction – but one that’s capable of causing a global meltdown (or two) – this metaphor is wearing thin.
About the author:
Frederick Kaufman, an English professor by training and profession, has for the past decade focused his attention on the fiction that is money. His unorthodox insights into the ways of Wall Street have resulted in numerous magazine articles for publications ranging from Scientific American to Wired to Foreign Policy to Harper’s, as well as television appearances on NBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business Network, and Democracy Now!, and invitations to lecture in both the United States and Europe, including an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations. This is his fourth book.