Position:The Battle of Bretton Woods

TIE's readers and contributors are often experts in their fields. They recognize when another author has produced an engaging, clearly written work that moves the public policy "needle." We asked them to share some titles that will be remembered for their fresh and unique insight on the future of the international economic and financial system.

The Battle of Bretton Woods by Benn Steil (Princeton University Press, 2013)


Benn Steil's The Battle of Bretton Woods is a superb, carefully researched history that enables readers to view today and tomorrow from the vantage point of the past. Steil's story weaves together geopolitics and geoeconomics, money and currencies, trade and growth--all in the context of the institutions that shape policy choices and the people who struggle to make them. He even includes spies! Steil's closing chapter draws connections between past monetary orders and debates about new ones.

--Robert B. Zoellick Former President of the World Bank Group, former U.S. Trade Representative, and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

In Fed We Trust

by David Wessel

(Crown Business, 2009)


In 2009 while the financial crisis was still seared into people's minds, David Wessel wrote In Fed We Trust, the story of the frantic efforts of the Federal Reserve and its leader Ben Bernanke to save America from another Great Depression. Unfortunately, there are too many people today who forget the extraordinary efforts needed to save the economy and the importance of having a powerful central bank able to provide stability, not only to our own financial system, but to the world's. Wessel's book is a clear and compelling narrative of a time when mistakes were made but when, in the end, the right actions were taken to confront a horrendous crisis.

--Martin Neil Baily Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development and Senior Fellow and Director of the Business and Public Policy Initiative, Brookings Institution

Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change

by Edmund Phelps (Princeton University Press, 2013)


Edmund Phelps' Mass Flourishing is an inspiring book which combines rigorous academic work with insightful intuitions about the underlying causes of economic growth and well-being. It is certainly a deep book that goes beyond common knowledge and draws from history and contemporary evidence to make powerful arguments about future...

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