Golden Fetters

Golden Fetters : The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939

4.02 (68 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book is a reassessment of the international monetary crises of the post-World War I period that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s. It also analyses the responses of the world economic powers to the Depression and how new monetary policies set the stage for the watershed post-World War II system established at Bretton Woods. It offers new theories of what effect the Great Depression had on the collapse of the world monetary system, and what effect the collapse had on deepening and prolonging the Depression, by exploring the link between global economic crisis and the the gold standard (the framework for international monetary affairs until 1931). The events described had a profound effect upon twentieth-century history: the Depression abetted the rise of Hitler and the demise of the gold standard is a historical cause of inflation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 150 x 220 x 32mm | 721.21g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • line figures, tables
  • 0195101138
  • 9780195101133
  • 281,934

Review quote

It is superb monetary history ... The great strength of Eichengreen's historical analysis is his enormously wide knowledge of, and sympathy for, economic and political conditions in all the major countries concerned ... a marvelous book. It is, in addition, beautifully written, and fully accessible to general readers (no mathematics, and lots of contemporary cartoons). A real pleasure to read, the work of a master economic historian. * International Journal of Finance and Economics * 'This is a complex, densely argued and nuanced book, whose argument and flavour can scarcely be conveyed in a short review. Eichengreen's argument is important, and once absorbed will change the historical terrain. This is a wonderfully stimulating book ... a book which all interested in the period should read, and which will be of particular interest to readers of this journal. It is not, however, one to read on the Costa Brava with a bottle of wine.'
Kathleen Burk, University College, London, Financial History Review This new international history of the inter-war gold standard, which will quickly become the standard work and should have immediate publication in paperback to encourage the widest readership, succeeds at a number of levels ... it is superbly written and achieves its objective of being accessible to the general reader ... it shows how national histories can be knitted together into a coherent analysis of an international economic crisis ... it breaks new ground
in two important respects ... this is an excellent book and ... quite compelling reading.'
Business History `will quickly become the standard work ... it is superbly written and achieves its objective of being accessible to the general reader ... this is an excellent book and ... quite compelling reading'
Business History `Anyone tempted to make historical parallels between the EMS and the gold standard should read Barry Eichengreen's scholarl account ... his book is written with a clarity that allows one to identify both elements of the gold standard that were unique and those that are common to any regime of fixed exchange rates.'
Times Literary Supplement `[Eichengreen's] book provides new and insightful analyses of how the gold standard worked and its role in the economic crisis of the interwar years.'
David Hale, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Kemper Financial Services Corporation `Professor Eichengreen has succeeded in providing a rare blend of well-balanced economic and historical analysis ... There is no doubt in my mind that historians will see Golden Fetters as the standard work on the subject for years to come.'
Gianni Toniolo, University of Venice `It looks to me to be quite a tour de force, by the outstanding contemporary scholar of the 20th century history of the international monetary system.'
John Williamson, Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economics `Golden Fetters compels us to re-examine familiar ideas about economic pathology in the interwar period and the way the gold standard functioned before the First World War ... This is the most important contribution to the subject since the works of Brown and Nurske, more than four decades ago.'
Peter B. Kenen, Princeton University `Eichengreen illuminates the role of the gold standard in his masterly analysis of the global economic and political forces that produced the Great Depression and economic recovery after 1933.'
Anna J. Schwartz, National Bureau of Economic Research `This is a first-rate book. It should become an instant classic in the field.'
Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology `brilliant new book'
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About Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen is the John L. Simpson Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has written a number of books on international monetary issues and economic history, including Elusive Stability: Essays in the History of International Finance (1990).
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Rating details

68 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 37% (25)
4 38% (26)
3 18% (12)
2 6% (4)
1 1% (1)
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