<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Books

The opéra bouffe that was the Bretton Woods conference

A review of The Summit, by Ed Conway. Despite the tantrums, logistical absurdities and interminable procedural wrangling, the conference that invented the IMF and World Bank included many moments of human greatness

14 June 2014

8:00 AM

14 June 2014

8:00 AM

The Summit Ed Conway

Little, Brown, pp.453, £25, ISBN: 9781408704929

There ought to be a comic opera about the Bretton Woods conference — Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face, about Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, with its mordant libretto by Philip Hensher, should be the model. Everything about the conference was overdone. It was held in 1944 in the gargantuan Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, which provided a preposterous background of gimcrack luxury.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe for just $2 a week

Try a month of The Spectator Australia absolutely free and without commitment. Not only that but – if you choose to continue – you’ll pay just $2 a week for your first year.

  • Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
  • The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
  • Spectator podcasts and newsletters
  • Full access to spectator.co.uk
Or

Unlock this article

REGISTER

Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £20. Tel: 08430 600033. Richard Davenport-Hines’s The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes will be published next year.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Close