The life story of the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, whose integrity provides the inspiration we need as our constitutional system and political tradition are being tested to the breaking point.
This is not a barnburner; rather, as the name quietly implies, [Keeping At It] a measured, even-handed review of a career largely spent in public service, including two terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Anyone expecting an explicit and full-throated rebuke of current political leadership in Washington or of President Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the Fed, will be disappointed: Volcker’s memoir essentially ends in 2013, with the formation of the Volcker Alliance, a nonpartisan group that aims to improve the efficiency of government ... But make no mistake, Volcker has much to say, and the absence of bomb throwing gives his message added weight ... Keeping At It is by no means a breezy read, but it has its lighter moments ... At a time when Americans have become accustomed to incendiary tweets, hot takes and instant punditry, the author’s unhurried prose may seem quaint; the first half of the book can feel downright wonky. But by detailing his considerable work in the field, Volcker’s reproaches are that much more credible. He ultimately delivers a powerful message — readers just need to keep at it.
Paul Volcker is the greatest man I have known. He is endowed to the highest degree with what the Romans called virtus (virtue): moral courage, integrity, sagacity, prudence and devotion to the service of country. This book is more than an account of his life. It is his credo ... Volcker has lessons to impart.
Not a tell-all book ... There is not much of a personal nature in the book, and yet, unwittingly, it paints an accurate personal portrait. The picture that emerges is of a man of granitic integrity, committed to what he perceives as wise policies—committed, that is, to what he calls The Verities: stable prices, sound finance, and good government.