Kaufman draws on a rich knowledge of other cultures and non-Western history. He illustrates our own allegories with foreign and ancient myths, and he explores archeological finds with the insights of our own allegories ... Kaufman’s novel approach is a delight to read. If he at times lacks a very complex facility with modern finance, it detracts little from the points he tries to make. Still, at times a reader might wish for the linearity of social sciences, where causation is in one direction between independent and dependent variables. If money is a story that is a part and parcel of our culture, then one would expect other cultures to tell stories that are substantially different in meaning ... blends the two directions of causation almost seamlessly ... Kaufman’s approach is insightful and original. And perhaps a bit more rigor in formalizing his approach will take us even further.
... a dense, scholarly history of cash and its metaphorical significance ... Kaufman’s prose is often turgid, but the book may interest readers with tastes broad enough to encompass ancient Greek philosophy, The Golden Bough, corporate strategy, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, cryptocurrency, and detailed discussions of literary theory and its relation to monetary policy or investment strategy. Others may wonder if its ideas, complex as they are, couldn’t have been more effectively presented in a long-form magazine article ... An erudite but sluggish overview of the role of money throughout history.
... fascinating yet somewhat muddled ... Though he doesn’t offer a cohesive treatment of money’s evolution over the centuries, 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.