One of the most important economic documents of the 20th century
John Maynard Keynes, at the time a rising young economist, abruptly resigned his position as adviser to the British delegation negotiating the peace treaty ending World War I. Frustrated and angered by the Allies' focus on German war guilt, Keynes predicted that the vindictive reparations policy, which locked Germany into long-term payments, would not only stifle the German economy for another generation but leave Europe in ruins.
Published in 1919, Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace aroused heated debates throughout Europe; his remarkably prescient conclusions were frequently cited by German leaders during the decades between the wars. Keynes's well-reasoned yet impassioned arguments, peppered with biting portraits of the statesen involved in the peace treaty—including Llyod George, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson—brought him immediate fame.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was educated at Eton and at Kings College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 1905. After a period in the India Office of the Civil Service, he returned to Cambridge as a lecturer in economics. During World War I he held a post at the Treasury and was selected as an economic adviser to the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He resigned that position in June of that year and wrote and published The Economic Consequences of the Peace, in which he argued against the excessive reparations required of Germany. Between the wars he was a financial adviser and a lecturer at Cambridge. His major and most revolutionary work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, was published in 1936. Keynes played a central role in British war finance during World War II and, in 1944, was the chief British representative at the Bretton Woods Conference that established the International Monetary Fund. The transformations which Keynes brought about, both in economic theory and policy, were some of the most considerable and influential of the twentieth century, laying, in effect, the foundations for what is now macroeconomics.
Robert Lekachman was a professor of economics at Lehman College, City University of New York, and is the author of The Age of Keynes and Capitalism for Beginners.
"The most important economic document relating to World War I and its aftermath" —John Kenneth Galbraith