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The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes first edition 1919

The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes first edition 1919


London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1919


8vo., original blue publisher’s cloth, ruled and lettered in gilt to spine; pp. [iv], v-vii, [i], 279, [i]; the cloth lightly rubbed to extremities, with minor loss of colour; upper edge a little dust soiled, with very faint evidence of a splash mark; previous pencil ownership inscription now erased from ffep, leaving mild depressions in the paper; a very good copy otherwise, sound in binding. 


First edition. Upon publication, the Economic Consequences created an intense and immediate controversy for its blatant criticism of both world leaders, and the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War. 


In his Preface, written while at King’s College Cambridge in 1919, Keynes outlines the background for this important work on Economics.  Attached to the British Treasury during the War, he was their official representative at the Paris Peace Conference, as well as being Deputy for the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Supreme Economic Council, but resigned from both of these positions when the Terms of Peace were unable to be modified in accordance with his beliefs - despite his attempts to argue to the contrary. Keynes had hoped that such an agreement would establish the conditions for economic recovery, but was instead left dismayed as he observed world leaders focusing on borders, national security, and extracting large reparations from Germany. It quickly became a bestseller, with over 10,000 copies of various issues sold within a year of publication. 


Keynes' predictions - that as a blueprint for Peace, the treaty was destined to create tension and conflict - proved correct when another war broke out within a generation. Its subsequent popularity helped to cement his reputation as one of the 20th century’s principle economists. 

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