Book Talk: The Money Plot: A History of Currency's Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipulate
with Frederick Kaufman
Frederick Kaufman tackles the complex history of money, beginning with the earliest myths and wrapping up with Wall Street’s byzantine present-day practices. Along the way, he exposes a set of allegorical plots, stock characters, and stereotypical metaphors that have long been linked with money and commercial culture, from Melanesian trading rituals to the rationales of Mercantilism and colonial expansion, and the U.S. dollar’s 1971 unpinning from gold. The Money Plot shines a light on the one percent’s efforts to contain a money culture that benefits them within boundaries they themselves are increasingly setting and defining. Half fable, half manifesto, this brilliant new take on the ancient concept of cash lays bare its unparalleled capacity to empower and enthrall us.
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.