IN THE RED: The Struggle for Sterling 1964-1966 by Henry Brandon

IN THE RED: The Struggle for Sterling 1964-1966

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the Red is a brief political and diplomatic history of the recent English economic crisis by a respected news reporter. It is a lucid account of the errors, indecisious, and missed opportunities that led to the crisis, and of the efforts of the United States and other countries to save the pound. Originally published in The Sunday Times under the title ""How Sterling Came in from the Cold,"" In the Red is journalistic instant-history in the raw. It possesses some of the assets and all of the liabilities of that genre. As a behind-the scenes expose of what happened during the crisis, the study is excellent. We learn ""how close Britain came to the brink, what fateful decisions had to be taken and how the personalities interacted in Whitehall, in Washington and on the Continent."" Obviously, Mr. Brandon had to pull many strings to get his story, and he is to be congratulated for trying to break the ""strange conspiracy of silence between public servants and politicians."" But his book is far from the ""investigation-in-depth"" it claims to be. How can it be when a study of the economic problems leading to the crisis would require a volume at least ten times the size of Mr. Brandon's ""book""? Given large enough type and four-page ""chapters,"" any good article could be made into a book. The fairest criticism of In the Red is the author's: ""It cannot offer any clear predictions, good or bad, for the crisis of the pound remains, alas, a continuing story."" Instant history, alas, always lacks the perspective of time.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1967
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin