The Gift has come to be regarded as a modern classic. This inspiring examination of the "gift economy" is even more relevant now than when it originally appeared - a brilliantly argued defence of the place of creativity in our increasingly market-orientated society. The Gift takes as its opening premise the idea that a work of art is a gift and not a commodity. Hyde proceeds to show how "the commerce of the creative spirit" functions in the lives of artists and within culture as a whole, backing up his radical thesis with illuminating examples from economics, literature, anthropology and psychology. Whether discussing the circulations of gifts in tribal societies, the ethics of usury, the woman given in marriage or Whitman's Leaves of Grass, this wide-ranging book is as entertaining as it is ground-breaking, a masterful analysis of the creative act in all its manifestations. It is in itself an extraordinary gift to all who discover it.