Frank Hanna’s What Your Money Means: And How to Use it Well is a refreshingly well-presented, popular exposition of classical ethical teaching on wealth and responsibility.
He writes to appeal to the widest possible audience, but his endnotes and certain references throughout the text reveal Hanna’s own Catholicism and the deep debt he owes to Catholic social teaching for the principles he elucidates.
In this very personal work, Hanna explains that upon making a fortune in the business world at a relatively young age, he set himself to discover what enduring principles applied to such wealth. The present volume is the product of that quest.
The book addresses everything from the difference between non-essential wealth and the amount required to permit us to fulfill the duties of our state in life, to the universal destination of goods, ending with some practical guidelines on how to implement the duty of tithing prudently. The conversational tone allows the reader to be led through some profound truths with relative ease. Hanna often directs his text towards those of his own class, but the teachings are universally relevant and apply to all of us, no matter how much (or how little) personal wealth we possess.
Leavened with a collection of comic sendups of the stereotypes of wealth and power, Hanna’s work is a genuine contribution to the literature on wealth and responsibility. This book could be fruitfully read by anyone with wealth of any quantity and the responsibility to use it well.
Reviewed by Chris Sparks on page 25 of the July/August issue of LayWitness, a publication of Catholics United for the Faith.