Bracketed by global financial crises and economic downturns, the modern age has been defined by debates about, and transformations of, money. The period witnessed the consolidation of national currencies and monetary policies as well as the diversification of payment technologies and the proliferation of financial instruments. Throughout, even as it appeared abstracted by finance and depoliticized by expert ideologies, money was revealed again and again to be a powerful medium of cultural imagination and practical inventiveness as well as the site of public and political struggles. Modern money - both as a form of liquidity and as a claim on wealth - remains deeply unsettled, caught between private and public interests and subject to epic struggles over the infrastructures of value creation and circulation and their distributional consequences.
Drawing upon a wealth of visual and textual sources, A Cultural History of Money in the Modern Age presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of technologies, ideas, ritual and religion, the everyday, art and representation, interpretation, and the issues of the age.