Few Fed chairmen confronted such profound challenges or became so controversial. Under his leadership, the Fed invoked all its conventional tools to salvage the economy. Once those were exhausted, Bernanke turned to extraordinary steps never before tried by the Fed.
Besides cutting a key short-term interest rate to a record low near zero, Bernanke launched a bond buying program that drove the Fed's balance sheet above $4 trillion to try to accelerate growth and shrink high unemployment.
Bernanke was criticized by some liberals — concerned about unemployment — for not doing enough, and by some conservatives — worried about inflation — for doing too much. Bernanke said that the "political environment was pretty hostile at times" and noted that in 2011 he was called a traitor by GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who told a gathering in Iowa that "we would treat him (Bernanke) pretty ugly down in Texas."
(Read more: Fed transcripts from 2008 crisis meeting )
"I'd like to be able to explain that it (the Fed's handling of the economy) was the right thing to do, and," Bernanke added with a laugh, "to attest to my loyalty to the United States."
He has spoken about his time at the Fed before; lectures he gave in 2012 at George Washington University were released last year in book form as "The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis."
Last week, the Fed released hundreds of pages of transcripts covering its 14 meetings during 2008 — eight regularly scheduled meetings and six emergency sessions that feature Bernanke's comments throughout.
Bernanke said he had not yet started the book, but had been organizing his thoughts and expected to take about a year to finish. He said he will write the book himself, although he will likely have help with research.
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Negotiations with publishers will be handled by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, who also represented Bernanke's predecessor at the Fed, Alan Greenspan. The deal for Greenspan's "The Age of Turbulence," published in 2007, was reportedly worth more than $8 million.
Bernanke's previous books also include "Essays on the Great Depression," published in 2000.