Here’s a nice discovery. The second edition (2003) of Michael Hudson‘s book Super Imperialism: The Origins and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance is available here in its entirety (at a free online library maintained by a pair of Tasmanians interested in homesteading!).
Hudson’s book follows the international monetary system’s half-century-long transition to today’s US Treasury-bill standard.
The story runs from Coolidge and Mellon’s crippling use of inter-ally armament loans and German reparations during the 1920s; through the so-called “isolationist” years; the forced dismantling of British Imperial Preference via Lend-Lease and the Atlantic Charter; the subsequent establishment of the Bretton Woods system amid a US near-monopoly of export markets and gold stocks; the development of payments deficits during the 1960s; and Nixon’s abandonment of dollar convertibility in 1971.
This makes up some of the deep historical background to the macroeconomic imbalances that brought forth collapse in 2007, and which today hold the prospect of both currency wars and actual shooting wars.