"Should become the gold standard on its topic."
--New York Times
"A superb history. Mr. Steil . . . is a talented storyteller."
--Wall Street Journal
"Steil's book, engaging and entertaining, perceptive and instructive, is a triumph of economic and diplomatic history. Everything is here: political chicanery, bureaucratic skulduggery, espionage, hard economic detail and the acid humour of men making history under pressure."
"Benn Steil, a distinguished American economist and writer, has gone behind the myths of Bretton Woods and written a provocative, lively and perceptive book that pulls together economics, politics, diplomacy and history and relates it to our current crisis. . . . This book should be read by George Osborne, Ed Balls, the new governor of the Bank of England and Andrew Tyrie, the grand inquisitor of the [UK] Treasury select committee."
--Keith Simpson, Total Politics
"The publishing event of the season."
--Tom Keene, Bloomberg Radio
"This is a fantastic book. Gold and money, two of my favorite topics. It's also brilliantly insightful history, and a gripping spy thriller to boot."
--Larry Kudlow, CNBC
"[T]he author masterfully translates the arcana of competing theories of monetary policy, and a final chapter explains how, while some of the institutions created by Bretton Woods endure--the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund--many of the conference's assumptions were swiftly overtaken by the Marshall Plan. Throughout Steil's sharp discussion runs the intriguing subplot of White's career-long, secret relationship with Soviet intelligence. A vivid, highly informed portrayal of the personalities, politics and policies dominating 'the most important international gathering since the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.'"
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"President Obama would be wise to take it to Martha's Vineyard summer."
--John Tamny, Forbes
"In his masterful account, 'The Battle of Bretton Woods,' Steil situates the conference firmly in the tense, heightened atmosphere of the final months of World War II. . . . Steil's book comes alive in his description of [Keynes' and White's] contrasting experiences at the conference."
--Sam Knight, Bloomberg Businessweek
"[Benn Steil's] new book The Battle of Bretton Woods is perhaps the most accessible study yet of a key moment in world economic history that nonetheless is poorly understood."
--Kevin Carmichael, Globe & Mail
"[F]ascinating. . . . Steil . . . spins the tale of how U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, a close friend of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowed White, a little-known economist who wasn't even on the U.S. Treasury's regular payroll, to dominate the department's monetary and trade policies beginning in the 1930s."
--John M. Barry, USA Today
"[A] well-written, fascinating history of the Bretton Woods conference on the international monetary system in July 1941. The book is deep, well researched, and hard to put down. Benn Steil . . . has produced a book that will help us to understand history, but also one we can use to contrast with the current international economic situation. . . . This is a very good book."
--John M. Mason, Seeking Alpha
"I do hope the title of this riveting read does not put off readers who mistake Benn Steil's latest work for an arcane discussion of exchange rates, the gold standard and the stuff of debates in commons rooms. This book is more than that, much more. It is a tale of a battle of titans and of a war between nations, each intent on establishing the economic architecture that would ensure its postwar economic domination of world finance."
--Irwin Stelzer, Sunday Times
"[T]hought provoking and well written."
--Kathleen Burk, Literary Review
"Benn Steil shows that what happened in the mountains of New Hampshire that summer [of 1944] is not quite the story we have been told."
--Neil Irwin, WashingtonPost.com
"Steil understands the economics at the heart of the tortuous negotiations, but he is also very good at explaining the politics, the power and the passions--the professional and personal rivalries--of the people at the negotiating table. He turns what could have been a dry account of economic accords into a thrilling story of ambition, drama, and intrigue."
--Keith Richmond, Tribune Magazine
"This thorough, fascinating account of the international conference that culminated in the 1944 agreement to maintain stable exchange rates skillfully places it in its economic and geopolitical context. . . . Steil not only recounts the intricacies of the deal making but also details the economic dimensions of Bretton Woods. . . . Steil has tirelessly tracked down minute details of the Bretton Woods story and its epilogue [and] offers excellent insight into the tribulations of the key players. He also tells the interesting tale of how, if not for the well-founded suspicions regarding Harry Dexter White's cooperation with Communist spies, the tradition of an American heading the World Bank and a European heading the IMF would have been reversed."
--Financial Analysts Journal
"[A] masterful (and readable) account of American realpolitik and British delusion."
--Andrew Hilton, Financial World
"Benn Steil's book combines an economic history with a portrayal of the characters involved in the epoch-defining talks at Bretton Woods . . . entertaining the reader with vivid personality portraits and a lively writing style."
--Mike Foster, Dow Jones' Financial News
"Benn Steil has just completed a fascinating book that looks at what really happened in the small New Hampshire town of Bretton Woods in 1944. Perhaps most surprising is that the real story that emerges isn't a tale of how 44 countries came together to rebuild the world. And the real story has different lessons for the 21st century than ambitious idealists might expect."
--Andrew Sawers, Economia
--Peter Passell, Milken Institute Review
"[F]ascinating . . . [an] often riveting account of these two remarkable men [Keynes and White] and their attempt to design a stable global monetary system, an International Monetary Fund and a World Bank."
--Glenn C. Altschuler, Tulsa World
"The clash between Keynes and White forms a central theme in Benn Steil's absorbing book, which should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the not-so-special relationship between the US and Britain."
--Geoffrey Owen, Standpoint Magazine
"[A] splendid book . . . If you want to understand the gold standard, the always-doomed dollar standard, why the IMF is in Washington, how the US deliberately humiliated Britain over debt before, during and after WWII as part of a very real currency war (but also out of genuine anti-colonial sentiment that the British never understood), this is the book for you . . . Every year publishers come out with a couple of purportedly serious books on FX, some by VIPs, and I read them all. This is the only one since Paul Volcker's Changing Fortunes in 1979 that is worth the price. It is non-partisan, well-written, thorough, and chock-full of the historical perspective that can so easily and so often get lost in the hurly-burly of the daily market."
--Barbara Rockefeller, Harriman Intelligence
"This is an excellent book.. . . [It] also contains some explosive revelations about White's work as a Soviet spy, very well documented I might add."
--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"If you think economics and finance are dry subjects at best, Steil's book offers a refreshing surprise. It's a political thriller in which the protagonists, one whom you think you know and one whom you probably don't, are much more intriguing (in both senses of the word) than they first appear."
--Daniel Altman, Big Think
"[A] very well-written history, with lively personalities [which] also serves as a great overview of the analytical issues in international monetary arrangements."
--Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist
"Benn Steil has written a wonderfully rich and vivid account of the making of the postwar economic order. The Battle of Bretton Woods tells the fascinating story of the contest between the United States and Britain, led by the outsized personalities of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, to reconcile their competing visions and interests."
--Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance
"A riveting, exceptionally well-written account of the birth of the postwar economic order, and the roles of two determined men who were competing to define it. The Battle of Bretton Woods is a must-read work of economic and diplomatic history with great relevance to today."
--Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve
"This is a fascinating study of monetary affairs and the politics of international finance, all tied up in the history of the Bretton Woods system and its ultimate demise. The book is full of lessons that are relevant today in a world that still resists international monetary reform."
--Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve
"Benn Steil has written a fascinating book with far-reaching consequences. In seeing the creation of the postwar economic system through the prism of the harsh interaction between Keynes and White, he makes complicated financial issues easy to fathom. Above all, Steil conclusively establishes the truth of an astonishing paradox--that White, the architect of the global capitalist financial architecture, was also a secret agent of the Soviet Union!"
--Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
"Beautifully and engagingly written, deeply researched, and of great contemporary interest, this book addresses how Bretton Woods really worked. One virtue of the book is that it places the United States and its chief negotiator, the enigmatic Harry Dexter White, at the center of the narrative. It also documents more fully and convincingly than any previous account the extent of White's espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union, a story that enhances an already gripping narrative."
--Harold James, author of Making the European Monetary Union