Paul Volcker has devoted his life’s work to public service and the critical importance of open, disciplined and efficient government. As chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979-1987) he literally rescued the American economy from destroying itself, summoning the courage to take radical and controversial steps to slay the inflation dragon. And whenever the going got really tough–the financial crash of 2008, the need to reform banking, the oil for food UN scandal, the turmoil in Switzerland over theft of Holocaust victims, cheating in Major League Baseball–US presidents and other leaders said to “get Volcker in here to help me work this thing through.”
Told with wit, humor, and down-to-earth erudition, Volcker’s memoir brings to life the changes that have taken place in American life, government, and the economy since World War II. Readers will of course find his penetrating insight into the strengths, weaknesses, and foibles of presidents, chancellors, and finance ministers of great interest. But the person who stands above all and resonates most is his father, the town manager of Teaneck, N.J.–Volcker’s role model throughout his life of the critical importance of good government and the absolute need for dedicated, experienced public servants to competently lead us through the changes that await us in our lifetime.