Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 424–425 | Cite as

Benn Steil: The Marshall plan: dawn of the cold war

Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2018, 624 pp, ISBN: 9780198757917
  • Malcolm CraigEmail author
Book Review

Even in the twenty-first century, figures as diverse as RAND analysts, the head of the World Bank, the Polish Prime Minister, conservative British journalists and Australian members of parliament have called at various times for ‘a new Marshall Plan’. While such calls were not always focused on the same issues as the original—for example global health or climate change—they all hark back to what is frequently positioned as the defining moment of positive US intervention: the 1948–1952 Marshall Plan.

Council on Foreign Relations scholar Benn Steil’s weighty new work purports to reassess the Marshall Plan, but in reality offers older arguments wrapped in a new (albeit very handsome) dust jacket. Steil’s work is in the tradition of Cold War orthodoxy, but from the outset the author engages the reader with crisp, entertaining prose that brings to vivid life the vast cast of characters with involving pen portraits and apposite anecdotes, even within such a substantial volume. The Marshall...


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© The Editor of the Journal 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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