Benn Steil on the Marshall Plan and the Modern World

marshall plan

Benn Steil on the Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan may well have been the most significant and effective strategic decision made by the U.S. in the postwar era. We spoke with award-winning author and CFR senior fellow Benn Steil about the plan and its legacy for this week’s podcast.


About Benn Steil:

Dr. Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also the founding editor of International Finance, a scholarly economics journal; lead writer of the Council’s Geo-Graphicseconomics blog; and creator of three web-based interactives tracking Sovereign RiskGlobal Monetary Policy, and Central Bank Currency Swaps. Prior to his joining the Council in 1999, he was director of the International Economics Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. He came to the Institute in 1992 from a Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he received his MPhil and DPhil (PhD) in economics. He also holds a BSc in economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Steil has written and spoken widely on international finance, monetary policy, financial markets, and economic and diplomatic history. He has testified before the U.S. House, Senate, and CFTC, and is a regular op-ed writer and commentator on CNBC. Paul Kennedy in the Wall Street Journal called his latest book, The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War, “brilliant”; the Financial Times called it “elegant in style and impressive in insights”; and Kirkus Reviews called it “a vivid, opinionated narrative full of colorful characters, dramatic scenarios, villains, and genuine heroes” that would be “the definitive account for years to come.” His previous book, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order, won the 2013 Spear’s Book Award in Financial History, took third prize in CFR’s 2014 Arthur Ross Book Award competition, was shortlisted for the 2014 Lionel Gelber Prize (“the world’s most important prize for non-fiction,” according to The Economist), and was the top book-of-the-year choice in Bloomberg’s 2013 poll of global policymakers and CEOs. The book was called “a triumph of economic and diplomatic history” by the Financial Times, “a superb history” by the Wall Street Journal, “the gold standard on its subject” by the New York Times, and “the publishing event of the season” by Bloomberg’s Tom Keene. An earlier book, Money, Markets, and Sovereignty, was awarded the 2010 Hayek Book Prize.