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Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives

by Mary Mellor

Part of the 21st Century Standpoints Series

The Real World

LoveReading View on Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives

“What is important about money is that it is a key institution in human societies…Yet it is very hard to grasp, like a spectre it slips away, shrouded in mystery.” Drawing on the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and economics, and with a fresh feminist and green perspective on financial systems, this book de-shrouds money of its mystery. Beginning at the beginning, it reveals that contrary to commonly held views, money did not somehow naturally develop from bartering and exchanging goods or services. Rather it is a social and political construct, inextricably woven into the social and political systems in which it is used. 

The author explores the role rulers and elites play in the history of money, and debunks the notion that money is in short supply, explaining that there is, in fact, a magic money tree. More precisely, “There are (at least) two: banks and states”. She makes compelling arguments for “democratising money.” For example, “women’s unpaid domestic labour could be recognised; care provision could be seen as a major source of employment. Environmental strategies could be funded.”

The author states in her introduction that, “Challenging myths about money at one level destroys its magic, but opens up its radical potential.” This astute, clear, timely book certainly will certainly open readers’ minds to radically different ways of thinking about and connecting with money.



Joanne Owen

Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives Synopsis

What does money mean?

Where does it come from and how does it work?

Mary Mellor examines money's social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. She sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.

Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives Press Reviews

Mary Mellor is one of our pre-eminent monetary myth-busters. Once again she has challenged us to break the lazy cliches about money and to truly reimagine our monetary horizons.

Brett Scott, Author of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance

Mary Mellor uses easy to follow stories and metaphors to dispel the myths and clarify the mysteries of money and banking. Along the way she succeeds in making it not only understandable but actually interesting. Fine work!

Ellen Brown, Public Banking Institute and author of Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution

An eminently readable and timely book which punctures the myths around money....convincingly argues for

alternative social, political and commercial stories of money that open up its radical potential.

Wendy Harcourt, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam

An exciting vision of how money can be democratically transformed from a leading expert on money. ...essential reading for anyone who wants a better and fairer economic future, it will teach you how to think critically about money and the monetary system.

Johnna Montgomerie, King's College London

Challenges the myths and the routine thinking of the Davos set.

Exciting, funny, and strategically designed to undercut the orthodoxy.

Tax, savings, debt... Mary Mellor has got it right!

Wendy Olsen, University of Manchester

Mary Mellor questions the myths about money and considers money as a social institution. She takes the magic out of money and subjects it to democratic debate. An exciting read for anyone interested in thinking differently about economics

Christine Bauhardt, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin

An insightful and thought-provoking anthropological account that pulls back the curtain on the mystery of money.

Lavinia Steinfort, The Transnational Institute

A timely and succinct view of economic, sociological and anthropological debates about money.

Essential reading at a time when our monetary and financial future is in flux.

Tod van Gunten, University of Edinburgh

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781447346272
Publication date: 03/07/2019
Publisher: Policy Press
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781447346272
Publication date: 3rd July 2019
Author: Mary Mellor
Publisher: Policy Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 192 pages
Genres: The Real World,
Categories: Sociology, Monetary economics,

About Mary Mellor

Mary Mellor is Emeritus Professor at the University of Northumbria. She has published extensively on gender and the environment, social, green and feminist economics and the democratisation of money as a public resource.

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