PositiveThe Wall Street JournalCarter has crafted a timely, lucid and compelling portrait of a man whose enduring relevance is always heightened when crisis strikes. If there is a conspicuous blemish in the book, it is the polemical turn of its last third, which goes well beyond the life of his subject. Still, readers of all political persuasions will, in the biographical material at least, find plenty of insight for our time ... wholly apart from his auspicious timing, Mr. Carter has, with this fresh reappraisal, made an outstanding authorial debut. The financial and economic questions with which Keynes wrestled, both as scholar and adviser, were complex, and it is tempting for an author writing for a wide audience to gloss superficially over the more difficult ones. But whether the subject is war reparations or interest-rate policy, Mr. Carter leaves no reader behind, and he writes with wit and clarity ... Keynes and Keynesianism disappear for long stretches of text, as the discussion devolves into an ever-angrier assault on “neoliberal” trade and market-liberalization policies, which Mr. Carter blames for growing inequality ... Mr. Carter is also too dismissive of contributions to economic policy thinking from the center and the right, particularly from Nobel Prize winners Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman—both of whom he paints, in his more charitable moments, as tools of reactionary and moneyed interests ... In the end, readers who admire the anti-\'market fundamentalism\' of Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, whom Mr. Carter quotes approvingly, will delight in this book’s extended epilogue; those who don’t, won’t. In any case, Mr. Carter might have been wiser to write two books, letting his fine and eloquent analysis of Keynes’s life and thought stand alone as the best single-volume biography of this intellectual giant.
Joseph E. Stiglitz
PanThe Wall Street JournalWhat stands out is the relentless indictment of past and present stewards of the eurozone, whom he charges with committing every possible sin against progressive economic principles. In this, the book reads much like Mr. Stiglitz’s earlier ones on globalization and inequality—only now with the euro as chief villain ... Even for the sympathetically minded, the book will be a bit of a repetitious slog. But for patient readers, there are moments of amusement. These come particularly when Mr. Stiglitz plays at evenhandedness ... But for all the polemic, many of Mr. Stiglitz’s most damning observations are on target.