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The Monetary Conservative
Jacques Rueff and Twentieth-century Free Market Thought
Christopher S. Chivvis
“A deeply thoughtful, nuanced, and erudite analysis of one of the 20th century’s most profound and principled monetary thinkers. With the renewed global angst over the sustainability of the dollar-based international monetary system, Chivvis’s masterful study of Jacques Rueff could not be more timely.”—Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of Money, Markets, and Sovereignty
“Mr. Chivvis has written an interesting and clear account of the major elements in the thought of the French economist and civil servant Jacques Rueff.”—Harold James, Princeton University
“An interesting, highly readable account of the career of one of Europe’s most important economists. Chivvis lifts the smokescreen of simplicity which has served to obscure the economist’s true contribution to twentieth century economic thought and practice. This is the clearest history (in my view) of twentieth century French monetary policy. Nothing else compares.”—Timothy Smith, Queen’s University
Defender of the gold standard and controversial philosopher of the relationship between money, capitalism, and democracy, Jacques Rueff (1898–1978) was one of 20th-century Europe’s leading experts on the perils of inflation and its impact on long-term economic growth and social stability. Once the guiding principle for European domestic and international economic policy, monetary conservatism went out of style in the interwar period when the gold standard collapsed under attacks from figures like John Maynard Keynes. Yet today, it is again becoming an important force behind inflation-fighting strategies around the world.
(2010) 253 pp., 5 illus.
Christopher S. Chivvis is a political scientist with the RAND Corporation and teaches International History at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
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