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The Summit

The Summit is the inside story of the biggest untold event of World War Two: the Bretton Woods conference. A drama that spans continents, tells the story of the rise and fall of its protagonists – and the countries they represent – it is about one of the few moments where a small group of people really did change the world forever.

Here’s what a few people are saying about The Summit:

“History with scholarship and verve . . . This is a ripe, resounding story, brilliantly told” – Peter Preston, The Observer. Full review here.

“Utterly absorbing, minutely researched . . . The picture so gloriously painted here is of a three-week, intellect-sapping, emotionally-draining roller-coaster” – Chris Blackhurst, The Independent. Full review here

“A gripping account of the Bretton Woods conference that shaped today’s world order points out its flaws – and lauds its ambition” – Claire Jones, Financial Times. Full review here [£].

 “What makes Conway’s account distinctive is that it is such good funthesummitcover . . . his jolly, colourful account makes a perfect introduction to one of the most important meetings of the past century” – Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times. Full review here. [£]

Bretton Woods comes alive again in Ed Conway’s new book” – Charles Moore, the Daily Telegraph. Full review here. 

“A rattling good read” – The Spectator. Full review here.

“Keynes’s charisma and wit enliven the excellent narrative of Ed Conway” – Kwasi Kwarteng, The Times. Full review here. [£]

‘Brimming with the sort of vivid details that make the past come alive, The Summit is both an impressive work of scholarship and an absolute delight to read’ – Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance

‘Who would have thought that an account of an economic summit could be so absorbing? But it was no ordinary summit and Ed Conway’s is an exceptional account’ – Evan Davis, BBC presenter and author of Made in Britain

‘Brilliantly researched, and hugely entertaining, this is an essential book about one of the most important economic events of the twentieth century’ – Keith Lowe, author of Savage Continent

Published by Little, Brown. Available on Amazon UK, Waterstones, WH Smith and all good bookstores.

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Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

The idea of world leaders gathering in the midst of economic crisis has become all too familiar. But the meeting at Bretton Woods in 1944 was different. It was the only time countries from around the world have agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. Against all odds, they were successful. The system they set up presided over the longest, strongest and most stable period of growth the world economy has ever seen. Its demise some decades later was at least partly responsible for the periodic economic crises that culminated in the financial collapse of the 2000s.

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 a World War Three. 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 colour 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 writer.

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The US edition of the book will be published by Pegasus in the new year. You can find it on Amazon US here.