The Marshall Plan

Lessons Learned for the 21st Century

image of The Marshall Plan

This book examines the historical, diplomatic, economic, and strategic aspects of the European Recovery Program (ERP) - popularly known as the Marshall Plan - which brought Europe out of the chaos, hunger, poverty, desperation, and ashes of World War II. In it, authors from a variety of countries who are scholars, policy makers, and business leaders,  address applications of the Marshall Plan’s lessons learned to the 21st century for capacity building, human and sustainable development, and the role of public, private partnerships in emerging market economies and democratic societies.

"There are not many of us left who served through the Marshall Plan from its beginning, and fewer still who served time in the Hotel Talleyrand in Paris, the site of the anniversary celebration, in June 2007, of Secretary George C. Marshall’s 1947 commencement address launching the European Recovery Program.  There are, though, scholars who can address those times and evaluate them so that the experience can live on.   

"The dedication of the Hotel de Talleyrand as a memorial to that unique enterprise provided the opportunity; and the analyses and evaluations in this splendid volume, The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned for the 21st Century, reflect the excitement, as well as the accomplishments, of an economic enterprise that produced the infrastructure of NATO and the European Union.  Long live the spirit of Marshall’s vision!"

-Thomas C. Schelling, Marshall Plan alumnus, Washington, Copenhagen, Paris, Washington, ’48-‘53, Nobel Prize in Economics 2005


"A historical event is and remains crucial when it interacts with others in such a way as to contribute to a deep and positive change in the course of history. In this sense, the Marshall Plan made an outstanding and lasting contribution. It was instrumental to overcoming the temptation of isolationism in the US, to reviving our badly needed economic recovery and gave a decisive input to coordinating our national efforts, thus paving the way to our future European integration." 

When I think of the world as it would have been without the Marshall Plan, I am encouraged to conclude that even in our challenging times, another, better world is possible. This collection of well written contributions and analyses, The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned for the 21st Century , further strengthens my convictions. 

-Giuliano Amato, Former Prime Minister, Italy

Former Vice President, European Constitutional Assembly




Part II. Human, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Open Market Economies, and Democratic Societies

For someone who is not an historian, and was only a child when the Marshall Plan helped Europe rebuild itself, it may seem awkward to write about it. Of course, I have been very much interested in the project passionately advocated by Candice Nancel to restore the prestigious Hôtel de Talleyrand, and I learned more about George C Marshall when my wife’s uncle, Bernard Pujo, wrote his first French biography (Pujo, 2003). But this is hardly a qualification to discuss the historical significance of the Marshall Plan.


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