When Paul Dombey asks `what's money?' in Charles Dickens's novel, his father is hard put to find an answer. The Oxford Book of Money sets out to explore the question with the help of writers, poets, artists, philosophers, economists, financiers and politicians, and to determine not only what it is, but more importantly, what it can do. More than just `gold, and silver, and copper', more, even, than banknotes (or cowrie shells or cocoa beans), money represents power and status, the lack of it misery and ignominy. True to the decimal system, the ten sections that make up this anthology look at the rich and the poor and the countless ways in which money can be made and lost. From ancient Greece to modern America trade, speculation, inheritance, debt, and ruin have been the themes of literature and the sources of philosophical and psychological conjecture on money, happiness, and evil. And the hardest question of all reveals a centuries-old ambivalence: how much is it worth? Some things are beyond value, but we all work for hire. Money is a subject that few writers have ignored: Dante, Milton, Nietzche, Baudelaire, Beckett, Propertius, Whitman, Wolfe and Eco - there is an inexhaustible wealth of material that is here tapped to the full. Kevin Jackson has compiled a gem of an anthology on the richest topic of them all.