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New Left Review 72, November-December 2011


Andrea Boltho

THE DOLLAR ERA

This is a brisk and invigorating account of a century of international monetary developments by one of America’s foremost economic historians. [1] Barry Eichengreen, Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2011, £14.99, hardback 215 pp, 978 0 19959 671 3 As would be expected, Exorbitant Privilege is extremely well informed, cogently argued and broadly persuasive. Events and policies, such as the Suez war, the ems breakdown or the current financial crisis—together with sharp criticism of the excessive deregulation favoured by both Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers—are splendidly documented. Conflicting views of what might happen in future are clearly put forward and analysed. Unexpectedly, perhaps, the book also displays fairly frequent touches of humour. In other words, it is both erudite and readable.

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