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2 - The Making of a Classic: Keynes and the Origins of The Economic Consequences of the Peace

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2023

Patricia Clavin
University of Oxford
Giancarlo Corsetti
University of Cambridge
Maurice Obstfeld
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington DC
Adam Tooze
Columbia University, New York
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Why didKeynes an exceedingly well connected young man with his feet very well planted in the English establishment,decide to take the risk of writing such an explosive book like The Economic Consequences of the Peace in 1919? After all, others had their doubts about Versailles; butnone went public;and ifor when theydid,it was certainly not to criticizethe peace settlementor the peacemakersin such a vitriolic fashion. SowhatledKeynes to write a book likeThe Economic Consequences of the Peace? What was his purpose in doing so? Who did he think he was writing it for?Was it his last word on the subjector was it – as Keynes believed at the time – merely the first step in a longer struggle to effectively render the economic parts of the Treaty invalid? Finally, why was the volumethe great success it turned out to be at the time, and whyis it still being debated today by both admirers and critics alike?

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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