Commentaries by top scholars alongside the most important documents and speeches concerning the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944
The two world wars brought an end to a long‑standing system of international commerce based on the gold standard. After the First World War, the weaknesses in the gold standard contributed to hyperinflation, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and ultimately World War II. The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 arose out of the Allies’ desire to design a postwar international economic system that would provide a basis for prosperity, trade, and worldwide economic development.
Alongside important documents and speeches concerning the adoption and evolution of the Bretton Woods system, this volume includes lively, readable, original essays on such topics as why the gold standard was doomed, how Bretton Woods encouraged the adoption of Keynesian economics, how the agreements influenced late‑twentieth‑century ideas of international development, and why the agreements ultimately had to give way to other arrangements.
Naomi Lamoreaux is Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics and History at Yale University. Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University.
“An important reminder of the challenges and rewards of international economic cooperation.”—Kirsten Wandschneider, EH.net
Selected for Choice's 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles List
“A terrific compilation of original documents and commentaries on the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. In this time of challenge, this book is a welcome reminder of why and how this important international agreement was formed and how it operated to influence the global economy.”—Helen Milner, Princeton University
“By bringing together historical documents and contextual essays by leading political scientists and economists, this volume enables readers to see the Act of creation of the post war financial system—that it blended idealism and reality, politics and economics and personalities.”—Angela Redish, University of British Columbia
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