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The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace
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The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Shortly after assuming office in early 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt made the bold decision to take the United States off the gold standard. This was only the first act in his quest to use monetary policy as a political tool. In The Money Makers, the distinguished historian Eric Rauchway shows how FDR and his brilliant team of advisers—John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White
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Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Basic Books (first published October 13th 2015)
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David The premise of this question is just false and is not supported by historical facts. The decline before the New Deal was implemented and then again ca…moreThe premise of this question is just false and is not supported by historical facts. The decline before the New Deal was implemented and then again came after the erosion of New Deal policies. Policies that held off depression for the longest stretch in our history. The Great Recession of 2008 was a result of many New Deal reforms by Republicans and Democrats alike. The idea that Capitalism ended slavery is dubious as many Capitalists benefited from free labor. It was the Civil War at great cost that ended slavery and unfortunately laws that came after the war allowed slavery to continue in prisons, which continues to be a benefit to Capitalists.(less)
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Mal Warwick
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Call it selective memory: we tend to forget that the survival of our democratic system was by no means assured on March 4, 1933, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as president. With the country paralyzed by twenty-five percent unemployment, shuttered factories, insolvent banks, and rapidly falling prices for farm commodities and consumer goods alike, both Communism on the Left and fascism on the Right were rapidly gaining adherents. It was far from clear that a catastrophic clash of th ...more
Frank Stein
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a near universal consensus among contemporary economists, both left and right, that the monetary policies of Franklin Roosevelt were the real reason for the United States' recovery from the Great Depression. Yet this argument, until recently, had not penetrated the history of the New Deal. This brisk, well-written book puts monetary policy back at the center of the story.

The opening sections, on Roosevelt's 1933 decision to take the United States off gold, show how conscious and planned
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Laurie
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have long enjoyed reading books about FDR and Churchill. When my husband, who was reading this book, discussed it with me, I determined to read it as well. Eric Rauchway shed much light on a part of Roosevelt's tenure that I was unfamiliar with – that of taking the world off the gold standard. I had read of Bretton Woods but do not recall reading about it to the degree Rauchway describes. Nor was I as familiar with the politics of economics that Roosevelt faced upon becoming President.

The plan
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Julian Douglass
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
What a great book, and what a great History about these two amazing men. Both people are hero's of the western Liberal international order and setting the peace for the past 75 years. Mr. Rauchway does a great job of combining economic theory with history to make the ideas and solutions come to life in an easy and understandable way. This book makes me long for brave and courageous leaders like Keynes and Roosevelt. Maybe one day, we will get men or women like these two again. People who know wh ...more
Patrick
I really think that I am slowly shifting to at least a weird middle position on Keynesian economics. This author is gung-ho that Keynes and Roosevelt were geniuses. He is an economics professor. I need to read a few economic books in a row rather than occasionally to really come to good conclusions.

I loved the book. It is probably too esoteric for most of my Goodreads friends--the minute details about Roosevelt's rationale for leaving the gold standard, currency valuation, central banking, the g
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G.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author manages to make economic policy change gripping. He definitely has an opinion, which I agree with, so it didn't bother me. Parallels and juxtapositions to the present are striking. ...more
Rob S
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, history
The Money Makers runs into a major problem from the title onwards, Roosevelt and Keynes never worked closely together and their histories are largely separate. There is already a glut of books out there about Roosevelt and his actions when it came to financial policy. There are also other established books about Keynes that better flesh out his economic policy, including going into detail about why the things he were fighting against were so terrible.

There's nothing severely wrong with The Money
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David Childers
I have mixed feelings about this book, which was entertaining, well researched, and not quite the book I thought I was going to read. As a work of political and diplomatic history, covering Roosevelt and Keynes and the discussions around currency policy during the Roosevelt administration, from abandoning the gold peg up through the negotiations over the Bretton Woods institutions, this is a valuable peek into how policy got made, drawing on extensive archival work on the major players and their ...more
Steve
Dec 26, 2015 added it
Nice monetary history of the US before great depression through Bretton Woods. Historically informative but still a fun read.

Historically interesting, informative, yet reads like a story. Enjoyable. Great way to keep educated monetary history that shaped the world economy, yet it won't put you to sleep.
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Kelsey
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I had to describe it in two words: vanilla and superfluous.
Jordan Weissmann
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For economics history nerds. FDR's decision to break from the gold standard was a politically and economically momentous choice that set the stage for recovery from the Great Depression. But popular accounts of the New Deal, like David Kennedy's Pulitzer winning Freedom From Fear, oddly tend to play it down, or are outright critical. Rauchway corrects the record, showing how moving off of gold was central to the Roosevelt's economic program and, later, the U.S.'s effort to create a durable post ...more
Streator Johnson
An excellent book combining the history of the period with lessons in Keynesian economics for the non-economist. It basically boils down to governments spending money on doing good things is, in fact a good thing.
Melissa
This is the first book I've read on this subject, so I can't claim to have good reasons to agree or disagree with his points. It's engaging enough to wish to learn more, which is what I need. ...more
Ken
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great info but super dry. Idk if the authors could have done more given the subject matter. Glad I read it
Cropredy
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, history
Oh, so disappointing. As we live in an age where some politicians call for balanced budgets and even a return to the gold standard, a book that goes over the successful fiscal interventions led by the Roosevelt Administration should be a gold mine (pun intended) of information for creating an informed opinion as to why the gold standard is a really, really bad idea.

But no. Like so many economic histories, the author opts to tell a narrative that is character-driven (Keynes, Harry White, Warburg,
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D.L. Morrese
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is said that history repeats itself. That's not quite true, but it does often rhyme. When FDR took office in in 1933, the United States was in much worse shape than it is today. The Great Depression had destroyed businesses and jobs. Discontent was raging, and there was a real threat of populist movements that saw democratic capitalism as a failure and were willing to consider fascism, communism, or some kind of totalitarian system to replace it as long as it provided a promise of security an ...more
Steve
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well-written story of the transformation of the United States and later the world from the "Gold Standard." Lots of information and analysis. ...more
Lloyd Fassett
Nov 21, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
11/21/15 wsj
Serge Boucher
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining economic history from the great depression to Bretton Woods.
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Eric Rauchway is an American historian and professor at the University of California, Davis. Rauchway's scholarship focuses on modern US political, social and economic history, particularly the Progressive Era and the New Deal. ...more

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