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Look Inside | Reading Guide
Nov 14, 2000
| ISBN 9780679783367
Mar 04, 2003
| ISBN 9780553585971
Jan 25, 1994
| ISBN 9780679424734
Nov 01, 2000
| ISBN 9780679641926
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Nov 14, 2000 | ISBN 9780679783367
Mar 04, 2003 | ISBN 9780553585971
Jan 25, 1994 | ISBN 9780679424734
Nov 01, 2000 | ISBN 9780679641926
Adam Smith’s masterpiece, first published in 1776, is the foundation of modern economic thought and remains the single most important account of the rise of, and the principles behind, modern capitalism. Written in clear and incisive prose, The Wealth of Nations articulates the concepts indispensable to an understanding of contemporary society; and Robert Reich’s Introduction both clarifies Smith’s analyses and illuminates his overall relevance to the world in which we live. As Reich writes, “Smith’s mind ranged over issues as fresh and topical today as they were in the late eighteenth century—jobs, wages, politics, government, trade, education, business, and ethics.” Introduction by Robert Reich • Commentary by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner • Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
The Wealth of Nationsby Adam SmithIt is symbolic that Adam Smith’s masterpiece of economic analysis, The Wealth of Nations, was first published in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence. In his book, Smith fervently extolled the simple yet enlightened notion that individuals are fully capable of setting and regulating prices for their own goods and services. He argued passionately in favor of free trade, yet stood up for the little guy. The Wealth of Nations provided the first–and still the most eloquent–integrated description of the workings of a market economy.The result of Smith’s efforts is a witty, highly readable work of genius filled with prescient theories that form the basis of a thriving capitalist system. This unabridged edition offers the modern reader a fresh look at a timeless and seminal work that revolutionized the way governments and individuals view the creation and dispersion of wealth–and that continues to influence our economy right up to the present day.
First published in 1776, The Wealth of Nations is generally regarded as the foundation of contemporary economic thought. Adam Smith, a Scottish professor of moral philosophy, expounded the then-revolutionary doctrine of economic liberalism. The book’s importance was immediately recognized by Smith’s peers, and later economists have shown an unusual consensus in their admiration for his ideas. Combining economics, political theory, history, philosophy, and practical programs, Smith assumes that human self-interest is the basic psychological drive behind economics and that a natural order in the universe makes all the individual, self-interested strivings add up to the social good. His conclusion, that the best program is to leave the economic process alone and that government is useful only as an agent to preserve order and to perform routine functions, is now known as laissez-faire economics or noninterventionism. In noting for the first time the significance of the division of labor and by stating the hypothesis that a commodity’s value correlates to its labor input, Smith anticipated the writings of Karl Marx. Like Marx’s Das Capital and Machiavelli’s The Prince, his great book marked the dawning of a new historical epoch.
"Adam Smith’s enormous authority resides, in the end, in the same property that we discover in Marx: not in any ideology, but in an effort to see to the bottom of things."–Robert L. Heilbroner
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