By Benn Steil
When turmoil moves international financial and monetary markets, leaders perpetually demand "a new Bretton Woods" to avoid catastrophic fiscal ailment and defuse political clash. The identify of the distant New Hampshire city the place representatives of forty four countries accrued in July 1944, in the middle of the century's moment nice warfare, has develop into shorthand for enlightened globalization. the particular tale surrounding the historical Bretton Woods accords, besides the fact that, is stuffed with startling drama, intrigue, and competition, that are vividly dropped at existence in Benn Steil's epic account.
Upending the normal knowledge that Bretton Woods was once the fabricated from an amiable Anglo-American collaboration, Steil exhibits that it was once in fact a part of a way more formidable geopolitical schedule hatched inside President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Treasury and aimed toward disposing of Britain as an monetary and political rival. on the center of the drama have been the antipodal characters of John Maynard Keynes, the popular and innovative British economist, and Harry Dexter White, the dogged, self-made American technocrat. Bringing to endure new and remarkable archival facts, Steil deals the main compelling portrait but of the advanced and arguable determine of White―the architect of the dollar's privileged position within the Bretton Woods financial procedure, who additionally, very privately, renowned Soviet fiscal making plans and engaged in clandestine communications with Soviet intelligence officers and brokers over many years.
A remarkably deft paintings of storytelling that finds how the blueprint for the postwar fiscal order was once really drawn, The conflict of Bretton Woods is destined to turn into a vintage of financial and political history.