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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2023
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Book description

The Economic Consequences of the Peace is one of the most famous books in the history of economic thought. It is also one of the most polemical. Published as a response to what Keynes saw as the grave errors of the Treaty of Versailles, the book predicted that war reparations and other harsh terms imposed on Germany would lead to its collapse, which in turn would lead to devastating consequences for Europe and the wider world. Predictions that we now know to have been all too accurate. Keynes's Economic Consequences of the Peace after 100 Years brings together an international team of experts to assess the legacy of Keynes's best-selling work. It compiles a series of wide-ranging chapters, exploring the varied influence of his ideas and policy contributions. Written in an accessible style, it recovers the importance of this history and examines the continued relevance of Keynes's controversial book.


'The centenary of Keynes's 1919 classic, Economic Consequences of the Peace, is well worth marking. Keynes's prescient warnings of the dangers of nationalism and failures of international cooperation grow even more salient with the passage of time, and specifically now with Russia's war on Ukraine. The essays here are a reminder of the challenges before us as we seek to achieve a ‘non-Carthagianian peace’.'

Barry Eichengreen - University of California, Berkeley

'Whether or not Economic Consequences of the Peace was as prescient as is sometimes said, the contributions to this fascinating volume attest that it still offers us innumerable windows on to that crucial conjuncture in history, and to a present that resembles it perhaps more closely than we would like. Keynes’ insights, both where he was right and where he was not, clearly continue to stimulate insightful thinking about the political economy of capitalisms past and present.'

Geoff Mann - Simon Fraser University

'John Maynard Keynes would be pleased to know that the savage attack he wrote on the peace settlements at the end of the First World War is still, a century later, provoking comment and debate. A distinguished team drawn from the leading experts on the period examine afresh, with insight and learning, the great and difficult questions of how to make peace after a long and exhausting conflict and build a stable new world order. Stimulating, timely and important.'

Margaret MacMillan - Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford

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