Skidelsky, R. J. A. 2000. John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain 1937–1946 (vol. 3), Macmillan, London.I will make some points here:
(1) From 2.15, Skidelsky makes the very important point that governments around the world first started to adopt Keynesian economic principles during the Second World War, and they did so to control inflation and excessive aggregate demand, by eventually contracting demand when wartime command economies had been implemented (a point once made in a similar way by the Austrian economist Ludwig Lachmann which I have discussed here). This is something that is forgotten by many people: Keynesianism is not just about stimulating the economy during times of recession or depression; the important other side of Keynesian demand management is to stop inflationary outbreaks during boom times by reducing the level of aggregate demand.
(2) The nations that used fiscal stimulus on a large scale in the 1930s to end the depression or high unemployment and low growth (what Keynes called an unemployment equilibrium) after the depression were New Zealand, Japan and Germany, as I have discussed here:“Keynesian Stimulus in New Zealand: 1936–1938,” September 23, 2011.The US used moderate fiscal stimulus in the 1930s and the effects were (as you would expect) moderate, rather than the highly successful results seen in, say, New Zealand, with a higher level of stimulus. Sweden in the 1930s also used mild to moderate fiscal stimulus, although its recovery was also helped by abandoning the gold standard, monetary and banking stabilisation, and export-led growth.
“Fiscal Stimulus in Germany 1933–1936,” September 3, 2011.
“Takahashi Korekiyo and Fiscal Stimulus in Japan in the 1930s,” August 27, 2011.
(3) I am not convinced by Skidelsky’s explanation of stagflation (from 19.22). My analysis of stagflation is here: