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.
"What The Double Helix did for biology, David Warsh's Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations does for economics." —Boston Globe A stimulating and inviting tour of modern economics centered on the story of one of its most important breakthroughs. In 1980, the twenty-four-year-old graduate student Paul Romer tackled one of the oldest puzzles in economics. Eight years later he solved it. This book tells the story of what has come to be called the new growth theory: the paradox identified by Adam Smith more than two hundred years earlier, its disappearance and occasional resurfacing in the nineteenth century, the development of new technical tools in the twentieth century, and finally the student who could see further than his teachers. Fascinating in its own right, new growth theory helps to explain dominant first-mover firms like IBM or Microsoft, underscores the value of intellectual property, and provides essential advice to those concerned with the expansion of the economy. Like James Gleick's Chaos or Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, this revealing book takes us to the frontlines of scientific research; not since Robert Heilbroner's classic work The Worldly Philosophers have we had as attractive a glimpse of the essential science of economics.
The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. Through reflection over the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity and free markets. The Wealth of Nations is a clearly written account of economics at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The book was a landmark work in the history and economics as it was comprehensive and an accurate characterization of the economic mechanisms at work in modern economics. Smith believed in a Meritocracy. Smith emphasized the advancement that one could take based on their will to better themselves. This is simply one of the most important books ever written on the subject of economics.
The #1 New York Times–bestselling political humorist reads Adam Smith’s classic economic treatise—so you don’t have to. Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long. The original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes—including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page “Digression concerning the Variations in the Value of Silver during the Course of the Four last Centuries,” which, to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu. Although daunting, Adam Smith’s tome is still essential to understanding such current hot topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this witty, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P. J. O’Rourke puts his trademark wit to good use, and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important. “If there is anyone on the planet who can make Adam Smith as entertaining and informative as he was prophetic, it’s P. J. O’Rourke.” —The Weekly Standard “Hilarious . . . Learning history while better understanding the current economy—and laughing while doing it? Hard to ask for more.” —Rocky Mountain News
Adam Smith (1723–1790) is famous around the world as the founding father of economics, and his ideas are regularly quoted and invoked by politicians, business leaders, economists, and philosophers. However, considering his fame, few people have actually read the whole of his magnum opus The Wealth of Nations – the first book to describe and lay out many of the concepts that are crucial to modern economic thinking. The Routledge Guidebook to Smith’s Wealth of Nations provides an accessible, clear, and concise introduction to the arguments of this most notorious and influential of economic texts. The Guidebook examines: the historical context of Smith’s though and the background to this seminal work the key arguments and ideas developed throughout The Wealth of Nations the enduring legacy of Smith’s work The Routledge Guidebook to Smith’s Wealth of Nations is essential reading for students of philosophy, economics, politics, and sociology who are approaching Smith’s work for the first time.
This book demonstrates that because the United States is enmeshed in a complexity of regulations, government debt, bureaucracy, and taxes does not mean that these policies cannot be reversed. They have been before. Rabushka describes an earlier reversal of mercantilist claims by a growing group of influential politicians influenced by Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. It is Rabushka's contention that Adam Smith's principles of sound money, taxes, minimal governmental regulation, and free trade have led to prosperity.
Adam Smith was a philosopher before he ever wrote about economics, yet until now there has never been a philosophical commentary on the Wealth of Nations. Samuel Fleischacker suggests that Smith's vastly influential treatise on economics can be better understood if placed in the light of his epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. He lays out the relevance of these aspects of Smith's thought to specific themes in the Wealth of Nations, arguing, among other things, that Smith regards social science as an extension of common sense rather than as a discipline to be approached mathematically, that he has moral as well as pragmatic reasons for approving of capitalism, and that he has an unusually strong belief in human equality that leads him to anticipate, if not quite endorse, the modern doctrine of distributive justice. Fleischacker also places Smith's views in relation to the work of his contemporaries, especially his teacher Francis Hutcheson and friend David Hume, and draws out consequences of Smith's thought for present-day political and philosophical debates. The Companion is divided into five general sections, which can be read independently of one another. It contains an index that points to commentary on specific passages in Wealth of Nations. Written in an approachable style befitting Smith's own clear yet finely honed rhetoric, it is intended for professional philosophers and political economists as well as those coming to Smith for the first time.
This carefully annotated selection features the main analysis of the operation of an economic system, the introductory chapter of the great attack on mercantilism, and portions of the analysis of the functions of the state-Books I, IV, and V. Edited by George J. Stigler, this useful volume includes an introduction and a bibliography.