Three Days at Camp David: How a Secret Meeting in 1971 Transformed the Global Economy

Jeffrey E. Garten. Harper, $29.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-288767-2
President Richard Nixon’s high-wire economic policy of monetary anarchy, tariffs, and government wage-and-price controls is dissected in this incisive history. Yale economist Garten (From Silk to Silicon) recaps the August 1971 Camp David meeting at which Nixon and his advisors crafted a “New Economic Policy” to address a stagnant economy, rising inflation, and soaring trade deficits. The program’s drastic steps included ending the convertibility of the dollar into gold, which demolished a pillar of the Bretton Woods international monetary system; slapping a 10% surtax on imports; and imposing a 90-day freeze on wages and prices, a “breathtaking” intervention, Garten writes, that led to controls lasting into 1974. Garten vividly sketches the personalities behind the policy—especially the charismatic, “movie-star handsome” Treasury Secretary John Connally, who pushed radical proposals by playing to Nixon’s love of bold initiatives—and the political optics that preoccupied them. Garten’s lucid, easy-to-grasp exposition focuses on international turmoil in exchange rates and trade—Nixon’s moves “shook to the core U.S. relations with Western Europe and Japan,” he writes—but, disappointingly, says little about the workings of Nixon’s revolutionary wage-and-price controls. Still, this is an enlightening study of an era when previously unthinkable economic measures suddenly went mainstream. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/28/2021
Release date: 07/06/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-288770-2
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-06-288768-9
Paperback - 978-1-3981-1205-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-6650-9933-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-6650-9931-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-6650-9932-5
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