In This Review

The Rules of the Global Game: A New Look at U.S. International Economic Policymaking
The Rules of the Global Game: A New Look at U.S. International Economic Policymaking
By Kenneth W. Dam
University of Chicago Press, 2001, 341 pp.

Just before joining the current administration as deputy secretary of the Treasury, the latest in a series of high-level economic- and foreign-policy jobs, Dam finished off this distillation of what he has learned as a researcher on how U.S. policies interact with the world economy. The Rules of the Global Game is for readers seeking to comprehend the broad canvas of U.S. trade policy and international financial maneuvers. They will find the strengths of a good textbook: a well-constructed conceptual framework that encompasses large subjects, a mild and lucid style, and up-to-date comprehensiveness. Dam likes free trade but is philosophical about interest groups and the compromises they require. He also likes capitalism but thinks recent Treasury policies served Wall Street too dogmatically, sometimes setting back the long-term cause of economic reform in developing countries. Like a good textbook author, Dam carefully paints landscapes, not portraits. This book is neither colorful nor argumentative -- merely sound.