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The Economic Consequences of the Peace

With a new introduction by Michael Cox

Authors: Keynes, John Maynard

Editors: Cox, Michael (Ed.)

  • Provides essential background to Keynes and the historical events which shaped the book’s argument and reception
  • Offers a much needed up-to-date account of Keynes' impact on the evolution of international relations, international political economy and contemporary politics 
  • Assesses the history of the book over a  century and the ongoing debate amongst historians and economists about its accuracy, impact and influence 
  • Make this important work accessible to a new generation of students of IR, IPE and Politics
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Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: December 11, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04759-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $29.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: November 13, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04758-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

First published in December 1919, this global bestseller attacking those who had made the peace in Paris after the First World War, sparked immediate controversy. It also made John Maynard Keynes famous overnight and soon came to define how people around the world viewed the Versailles Peace Treaty. In Germany the book, which argued against reparations, was greeted with enthusiasm; in France with dismay; and in the US as ammunition that could be (and was) used against Woodrow Wilson in his ultimately unsuccessful bid to sell the League of Nations to an increasingly sceptical American public. Meanwhile in his own country the book provoked outrage amongst establishment critics – Keynes was even refused membership of the prestigious British Academy – while admirers  from Winston Churchill to the founders of the LSE, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, went on to  praise Keynes for his wisdom and  humanity. Keynes may have written what he thought was a reasoned critique of the economics of the peace settlement. In effect, he had penned a political bombshell whose key arguments are still being debated today. The Economic Consequences of the Peace is now reissued by Keynes’ publisher of choice with a new introduction from Michael Cox, one of the major figures in the field of International Relations today.  Scholarly yet engaged and readable, Cox’s introduction to the work – written a century after the  book first hit the headlines – critically appraises Keynes' polemic contextualising and bringing to life the text for a new  generation of scholars and students of IR, IPE, Politics and History. The original text and this authoritative introduction provide essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the tragedy that was the twentieth century; why making peace with former enemies can be just as hard as winning a war against them; and how and why ideas really do matter.  

About the authors

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) has justifiably been called the most influential economist of the twentieth century. His behind the scenes account of what went on Paris in 1919 also marked him out as one of the greatest masters of the polemical form in the English language. A renaissance man who was just as much at home in the world of art and ballet as he was discussing probability theory and the history of economic thought, Keynes left an indelible mark on the world through his work as an economist, journalist, sponsor of the arts, and policy-maker in two wars.

Michael Cox is Director of LSE IDEAS and Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Over a long and distinguished career he has published work on the former USSR, the Cold War, US foreign policy and more recently on the reshaping of world order in the 21st  century. His work on E.H.Carr and Carr's The Twenty Years' Crisis has only confirmed his reputation as a scholar of international standing. He is currently working on a history of the London School of Economics entitled: The School: The LSE and the Shaping of the Modern World

Reviews

“Michael Cox's comprehensive and enlightening Introduction to The Economic Consequences of the Peace is excellent, probably the last word on the subject. It's a tribute to Keynes that we can't escape the magic of his book a century later.” (Antony Lentin, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK. Author, General Smuts: South Africa and The Versailles Settlement Lloyd George and the Lost Peace: From Versailles to Hitler, 1919-1940)

“In this impressively researched introduction to this new edition, written with great verve and style, Michael Cox examines Keynes’s background and motivations, offers revealing insights into the reactions both of contemporaries and later scholars and suggests reasons why, despite the efforts of its critics, The Economic Consequences of the Peace continues to have such an influence on interpretations of the settlement.” (Alan Sharp, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Ulster, UK. Author, The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking After the First World War, 1919-1923 and Versailles 1919: A Centennial Perspective)

“John Maynard Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace has long been the starting point for the historical debate about German reparations and the Treaty of Versailles. Michael Cox's fine introduction to this new edition will reinterpret this classic text for a fresh generation of readers, clarifying why its impact has been so great and why it continues to repay reading.” (David Stevenson, Stevenson Professor of International History, LSE, UK. Author, With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 and 1917: War, Peace and Revolution)

“Keynes' famous book, a hundred years old and never out of print, is itself a piece of history. Michael Cox's introduction tells the story of the author, the book and the controversy it has generated up to the present day. An indispensable guide - and as readable as Keynes himself.” (Sir Robert Cooper, Diplomat and Author of The Post-Modern State and The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty First Century)

“Professor Cox's masterly introduction shows just why Keynes's book - eerily relevant to our current period of global dislocation - was so influential yet massively controversial when it first appeared.” (Tony Giddens, House of Lords, UK. Author, The Politics of Climate Change and Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe?)  

 “As Michael Cox’s sweeping, incisive introduction makes clear, even one hundred years later, The Economic Consequences of the Peace remains a controversial and hotly debated polemic. But as ancient squabbles fade into history, Keynes’ brilliant, clarion call against the mortal dangers of short-sighted, narrowly self-interested economic nationalism remains all-too relevant today.” (Jonathan Kirshner, Stephen and Barbara Friedman Professor of International Political Economy, Cornell University, USA. Author, Appeasing Bankers: Financial Caution on the Road to War and American Power after the Financial Crisis)

“Very few polemics would survive being read a century later. A notable exception is John Maynard Keynes’s Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919), a vivid instant commentary on events that Keynes had played a part in and written with all the archness which Bloomsbury could deploy. In his fascinating introduction Michael Cox explains why Keynes, a junior official and Cambridge don, felt so moved to write the book, and how it was received both at the time and in subsequent decades. Rarely can a mere 60,000 words have caused such controversy, almost guaranteed since Versailles was an imperfect settlement which brought no peace at all. I cannot recommend this new edition too highly.” (Michael Burleigh, Engelsberg Chair in History and International Affairs, LSE IDEAS, UK.   Author, The Third Reich: A New History and Small Wars, Far Away Places: the Genesis of the Modern World)

“The Economic Consequence of the Peace is one of the most remarkable, prophetic and enduring tomes of twentieth-century diplomacy. Michael Cox brings it back to life revealing both new levels to the story itself by situating the book in its time and much too about its complex and fascinating author.” (Professor John Bew, Kings’ College London, UK. Author, Realpolitik: A History and Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee)

“Michael Cox’s excellent introduction, as penetrating and insightful as it is a pleasure to read, provides just the right arc of analysis from Keynes’s pre-war years onward to today, bringing to life the great economist’s masterpiece.” (G John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA. Author, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars, and The Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis and Transformation of the American System)

“Michael Cox’s well-crafted, definitive, introduction to one of the most influential books in economic history makes this volume on The Economic Consequences of the Peace the one to read!” (Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School, UK. Author of China’s Growth: The Making of a Superpower and The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today)

“Keynes's classic report on the Versailles Treaty - now framed by Michael Cox's scholarly introduction - still repays close reading. It is not just a book full of political insight. It is a literary classic as well.” (Meghnad Desai, House of Lords, UK. Author, The Rediscovery of India and Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and how to avoid the Next One)

“A century after the Great War ended, its causes and consequences - not least those of the Treaty of Versailles - remain subjects of intense debate. In his Introduction to this new edition of J. M. Keynes’s The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Michael Cox brilliantly illuminates the reasons why Keynes wrote his powerful critique of the Treaty. Cox also places The Economic Consequences of the Peace in its historical - and historiographical - contexts. Keynes worried that the Versailles peacemakers had failed to lay the groundwork for an enduring post-war order in Europe. This new edition of The Economic Consequences of the Peace is a powerful - and timely - reminder that international orders are difficult to create and sustain.” (Christopher Layne, University Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Texas A & M University, USA)

“To understand the twenty years of mayhem that stretched between the Versailles Peace Conference and the Nazi invasion of Poland, we must look for guidance to the intellectual leaders of the time who tried to make sense of it all.  Keynes was one of the top half-dozen intellectuals in the Anglophone world whose opinion mattered in this trying period. Nowhere was his influence so great as in the book Professor Michael Cox here brings again to our attention a century after its first publication. In his masterful Introduction, Cox proves once again to be a sure guide to sorting out the complexities of past debates conducted at a high and passionate level.” (Tony Smith, Jackson Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Tufts University, author of Why Wilson Matters: The Origins of American Liberal Internationalism and its Crisis Today)

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: December 11, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04759-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $29.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: November 13, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04758-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Economic Consequences of the Peace
Book Subtitle
With a new introduction by Michael Cox
Authors
Editors
  • Michael Cox
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-04759-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-04759-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-04758-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 205
Topics