"Harry White and the American Creed" by James Boughton

Harry White and the American Creed How a Federal Bureaucrat Created the Modern Global Economy (and Failed to Get the Credit) James Boughton

Publication date:
08 Feb 2022
Yale University Press
448 pages: 235 x 156mm
18 b-w illus.
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The life of a major figure in twentieth-century economic history whose impact has long been clouded by dubious allegations

Although Harry Dexter White (1892–1948) was arguably the most important U.S. government economist of the twentieth century, he is remembered more for having been accused of being a Soviet agent. During the Second World War, he became chief advisor on international financial policy to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, a role that would take him to Bretton Woods, where he would make a lasting impact on the architecture of postwar international finance. However, charges of espionage, followed by his dramatic testimony before the House Un‑American Activities Committee and death from a heart attack a few days later, obscured his importance in setting the terms for the modern global economy. In this book, James Boughton rehabilitates White, delving into his life and work and returning him to a central role as the architect of the world’s financial system.

James M. Boughton is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He was previously historian of the International Monetary Fund, as well as assistant director in the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department at the IMF.