*The Price of Peace*

The author is Zachary D. Carter, and the subtitle is Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes.  Maybe you’ve read plenty about Keynes, but still this book is good enough to qualify (without reservation) for the year’s “best of non-fiction” list published every December.

One surprise is that the author seems to “get” the Bloomsbury Circle, Woolf, and the like, even though he is not an old, crusty British pain in the ass.

A second surprise is that much of the biography goes well past the life of Keynes, though with no diminution of quality.  I very much enjoyed for instance the discussion of Samuelson vs. Galbraith, the career of Milton Friedman, the role of the Volker Foundation, and so on.

Very readable, substantive, and the main topic never ceases to be interesting.  I am not sure if there is anything truly new in here, but it is nonetheless a very good book to read about Keynes and his later influences on economic thought.

Comments

"even though he is not an old, crusty British pain in the ass."

Those are the best kinds for those who enjoy spotted dick or toad in the hole.

Decades ago I went to a college feast at King's. As we foregathered conversation was dominated by the piping voices of very old men, retired Fellows I suppose. They talked of "Maynard" and "Morgan".

I knew who those two were: it made me wonder whether King's had once had a policy of appointing as Fellows people who preferred to use their middle names rather than their first names, and whose middle names began with the letter "M".

By the standards of the Social Sciences that was a pretty persuasive correlation.

That there is no need to say without reservation when something is good enough to list as among the year's best.

historically
it goes without saying whenever the left is fixing to dump a failed policy
or propaganda campaign they will attempt to rebrand the failed propaganda as "right wing trap"& it will be hysterical!

I couldn't find any writings by Keynes on the Spanish flu. His thoughts and views on the matter would be quite relevant given today's pandemic. In fact I couldn't find anything from any important writer of the era: Orwell, Churchill, Hemingway, Faulkner, Woolf, etc.

This article agrees with me:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-did-artists-respond-to-the-spanish-flu-searching-for-traces-of-a-forgotten-catastrophe/ar-BB13HwGh

If you are familiar with these topics/people only in outline and have yet to read a good in depth book on the topic, is this your recommendation for the best book? I.e. what about if you have NOT yet read plenty about Keynes.

I haven't read Zachary Carter's bio.

There are two substantial scholarly biographies, well-grounded in the archives: those by Moggridge and Skidelsky. They're both good, but Skidelsky is the one I'd recommend because (as a former Tory politician) he really gets the political, cultural, and social milieu that Keynes moved in. He is also good on the economics. If you have the time, the three-volume version is the one to read, but he has a one-volume condensation plus something in the "very short introductions" series.

There are many other books about Keynes, some perceptive, but he's a hard guy to biographize because he played so many roles simultaneously.

Blanchard used to publish the "state of macro".
Is there any such recent publication in which I can review the current state of macro ? Recent means in the last 3 years or so ?

Hayek, Keynes, Adaptive/Rational expectations, Charles Manski, Hyman Minsky, Neo-Kenesianism, New Keynesianism etc etc.

I had heard that the Chinese Govt's stimulus in 2008 was successful in preventing the Chinese economy from going into full recession.

Is there any recent book or paper that summarizes the current state of macro ?

Churchill is the best. Even if both him and me are dead. We'll meet again.

When I was young - and I have always been young - I knew a few soldiers who respected me, who would have followed me into battle/

Every one of those soldiers was a far better man than Churchill.

He was above average, but not my much.

You come from Ireland

I have put my son-in-law to take care of the flotsam and jetsam of empire.

passes through us, long live happiness tanker & ilk.

you meant targeted learning

And make all the cash from this goddam place

You'd need some dholak too

For a top journal, dead Gaddafi will fund the rest at LSE

To be a 'doting' father

Some economists challenge orthodoxy, some don't.

The later stuff is quite interesting. For example it talks about how Galbraith and Samuelson were in a fundamental way on opposite sides in their conception of what economics should be. Labeling them both as being on some kind of Team Keynes was seriously simplistic.

Interesting title, seems like a decent study. Although, isnt the historical consensus (not that that amounts to much, but still) is that Keynes was wrong about the Versailles treaty? He correctly predicted WWII, but had the Versailles treaty been less harsh on Germany, the outcome would have probably been the same.

"Animal spirits"!

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