By Benn Steil
When turmoil moves global financial and fiscal markets, leaders normally demand "a new Bretton Woods" to avoid catastrophic monetary sickness and defuse political clash. The identify of the distant New Hampshire city the place representatives of forty four countries collected in July 1944, in the course of the century's moment nice struggle, has develop into shorthand for enlightened globalization. the particular tale surrounding the ancient Bretton Woods accords, even though, is stuffed with startling drama, intrigue, and competition, that are vividly dropped at lifestyles in Benn Steil's epic account.
Upending the normal knowledge that Bretton Woods used to be the made from an amiable Anglo-American collaboration, Steil exhibits that it used to be actually a part of a way more formidable geopolitical time table hatched inside President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Treasury and aimed toward getting rid of Britain as an fiscal and political rival. on the middle of the drama have been the antipodal characters of John Maynard Keynes, the well known and innovative British economist, and Harry Dexter White, the dogged, self-made American technocrat. Bringing to undergo new and awesome archival facts, Steil bargains the main compelling portrait but of the complicated and debatable determine of White―the architect of the dollar's privileged position within the Bretton Woods financial approach, who additionally, very privately, fashionable Soviet monetary making plans and engaged in clandestine communications with Soviet intelligence officers and brokers over many years.
A remarkably deft paintings of storytelling that unearths how the blueprint for the postwar monetary order was once really drawn, The conflict of Bretton Woods is destined to develop into a vintage of monetary and political history.