Against the Odds: The Public Life and Times of Louis Rasminsky

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University of Toronto Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 380 pages
Against the odds is the story of a man who played an important role in the postwar economic development of Canada. Louis Rasminsky, governor of the Bank of Canada from 1961 to 1973, was one of only two Jewish senior civil servants in Canada when he was appointed. This authorized biography of Rasminsky's professional life will enlighten anyone interested in the formation of Canadian economic and monetary policy after World War II. It is the tale of an extraordinary figure in Canadian history.

Rising above many formidable challenges, Rasminsky made a name for himself at the Bank of Canada, at the Foreign Exchange Control Board, and later at the international conferences that helped restructure the world economy. The heart of this book is devoted to his increasingly important work at the Bank from 1940 on, his time as governor, and the role the Bank played in Canada's economic development. Bruce Muirhead has produced a work that is the product of thorough research in the archives of Geneva, London, Ottawa, Washington, and elsewhere. As well, he interviewed many principals in the events that he describes and had direct access to Rasminsky's personal papers and the subject himself.

This is a sound, scholarly treatment of a remarkable individual. Against the Odds will do much to restore the Bank of Canada as an institution to its rightful place at the centre of scholarly treatments of financial questions and the international negotiations surrounding them.

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Geneva and the League of Nations
Ottawa and Wartime Controls
The Road to Bretton Woods

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About the author (1999)

Bruce Muirhead is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo and the associate dean, Graduate Studies and Research. He is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He has written extensively on post-Second World War Canadian commercial, economic, and political history. He is the co-editor, along with Ron Harpelle, of "Long-Term Solutions for a Short-Term World: Canada and Research Development" (WLU Press, 2011).

Ronald N. Harpelle is a historian and filmmaker. He is the author of "The West Indians of Costa Rica" and has written extensively about the West Indian diaspora in Central America. Ron Harpelle is also the director of "In Security", a documentary film about barbed wire and boundaries, and the co-director of "Banana Split", a documentary about Canada's favourite fruit. With Bruce Muirhead he appeared in [http: // "Citoyens du Monde/Citizens of the World", done for TFO.

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