Money was invented when human beings minted coins. Then we printed paper money, and now we have e-cash. Or so the fiction of money's origins would have it. Dr. Kassulke unveils the purely mythological status money has in contemporary Western societies. She presents a wide range of concepts attached to money in its various forms, from coins to paper to e-cash. Examples are drawn from children's literature, popular novels, films, advertising, biographies, financial journalism, political-economic theory, and sociology. With considerable sensitivity to both textual analysis and historical context, Kassulke provides a penetrating scrutiny of the most globally important concept of our time: money. She pinpoints how money's mythologies determine social relations as well as subjectivity. Perceptive, lucid, and elegant, Cooking the Books exposes an important area of cultural activity that will be of great interest to scholars and students in cultural studies, communications studies, and comparative literature.