Karl Helfferich, 1872-1924
Economist, Financier, Politician
John G. Williamson


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.

First published in 1971.

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