American Sociological Association

Review Essays: Making Money Matter

Author of The Sociology of Money (1994), Nigel Dodd advances the current fascination with “media of exchange,” from his position at the London School of Economics, by wisely entering sustained dialogue with Marx and Simmel, as well as with many lesser lights from more recent times. This finely produced volume sports all the appurtenances nowadays expected of the serious monograph: comprehensive scope in digestible prose, plentiful footnotes, endless citations to, and dialogue with, other scholars’ works, and a splendid bibliography in reduced font (pp. 395–420). It also features endorsements by a half-dozen of the best-known specialists in these matters, from the United States and abroad, voicing sentiments like these: “a landmark in the sociology of money,” “a veritable feast of theories of money. . . a fantastic cornucopia of ideas of a type rarely seen in social science.” Even allowing for blurb hyperbole, The Social Life of Money has “major book” written all over and about and in it. Dodd himself is not modest about his goals: “My aim in this book is to . . . reconsider the nature of money, particularly its social nature, not just in light of . . . specific events and political sentiments . . . but in toto. The book’s purpose, in short, is to explore money’s social life in all of its myriad complexity” (p. 4).

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Alan Sica





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