A brilliant narrative history of the most colourful and important summit in history.
The idea of world leaders gathering in the midst of economic crisis has become all-too familiar. But the summit at Bretton Woods in 1944 was the only time countries from around the world have agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. And, what's more, they were successful - it was the closest to perfection the world's economy has ever been, and arguably the demise of the Bretton Woods system is behind our present woes.
This was no dry economic conference. The delegates spent half the time at each other's throats, and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. The Russians nearly capsized the entire project. The French threatened to walk out, repeatedly. John Maynard Keynes had a heart attack. His American counterpart was a KGB spy. But this summit could be instrumental in preventing World War Three.
Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning colour and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace,this is an extraordinarily accomplished work of history from a talented new writer.
Utterly absorbing, minutely researched . . . The picture so gloriously painted here is of a three-week, intellect-sapping, emotionally-draining roller-coaster - Independent
Brimming with the sort of vivid details that make the past come alive, The Summit is both an impressive work of scholarship and an absolute delight to read
Who would have thought that an account of an economic summit could be so absorbing? But it was no ordinary summit and Ed Conway's is an exceptional account
Brilliantly researched, and hugely entertaining, this is an essential book about one of the most important economic events of the twentieth century
Conway, who is economics editor of Sky News, has written an accessible and intelligent work, based on substantial archival research - Guardian