But what everyone has always assumed to be a dry economic conference was in fact replete with drama. The delegates spent half the time at each other's throats and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. The Russians nearly capsized the entire project. The French threatened to walk out, repeatedly. All the while war in Europe raged on.
At the very heart of the conference was the love-hate relationship between the Briton John Maynard Keynes, the greatest economist of his day, who suffered a heart attack at the conference itself and who was a true worldwide celebrity - and his American counterpart Harry Dexter White (later revealed to be passing information secretly to Russian spies). Both were intent on creating an economic settlement which would put right the wrongs of Versailles. Both were working to prevent another world war. But they were also working to defend their countries' national interests.
Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning color and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace, this is an extraordinary debut from a talented new historian.
Ed Conway is the economics editor of Sky News. Previously he was the economics editor of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph. His appointment to this role, when only twenty-five, made him the youngest ever economics editor of a British national newspaper. He lives in London.