An irascible, brilliant man, trained as an economist, Karl Helfferich became one of Wilhelmine Germany's leading financiers in the years after 1905. During World War I, he held a series of important Reich offices and, after 1918, became a leading right-wing politician in the Weimar Republic. As creator of the basic plan to stabilize the mark in 1923, he played a major role in ending the catastrophic postwar inflation. John Williamson's biography of Helfferich thus reflects German controversies over the crucial political, economic, and social issues of the era 1895-1924: e.g., industrialization, colonial development, the Bagdad Railway and imperialism, unrestricted submarine warfare, wartime political reform, war aims, and postwar financial and foreign policy.
Originally published in 1971.
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