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Wealth of Nations Hardcover – 18 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Harriman House Publishing (18 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905641265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905641260
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 6 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Adam Smith was born in Scotland, in 1723, and received his early education at the local burgh school. He subsequently attended Glasgow University (1737-1740), and Balliol College, Oxford (1740-1746). Two years after his return to Scotland, Smith moved to Edinburgh, where he delivered lectures on Rhetoric. In 1751 Smith was appointed Professor of Logic at Glasgow, but was translated to chair of Moral Philosophy in 1752. The Theory of Moral Sentiments was published in 1759, and The Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence.

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Review

"this new edition is splendid...An enormously useful feature is
the selection of famous quotes at the beginning." -- Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute

About the Author

Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and pioneering political economist and one of the key figures of the intellectual movement known as the Scottish Enlightenment. He is now depicted on the back of the brand new GBP20 note.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL CONNELL on 12 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Nice binding, cover, typesetting. It's only missing one thing - the contents: unfortunately this edition only contains the first four books. Book five, which deals with taxation has been omitted in order to release a lower priced, single volume edition.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Gaurav Sharma VINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I can only describe this particular edition of Wealth of Nations as a useful crash course on Adam Smith's discourse, mindful of the fact that there were five editions of this historically significant work. But then that's the beauty of this condensed compendium.

Most editions available in the market draw on Smith's Wealth of Nation Volume I (Of the causes of improvement), Volume II (Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock) and Volume III (Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations) at the most. However, this edition contains healthy inclusions from Book IV (Of Systems of political Economy) and Book V (Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth). For this alone, the editor Kathryn Sutherland deserves credit.

It is not a mouthful but a practical handy book on Wealth of Nations. Those who have never studied economics would enjoy reading it too if they are so inclined, especially students of history and philosophy. Since this is a complex work authored over two hundred years ago, the editor's footnotes and references enhance comprehension.

Yet the wonderful details of Smith's key thoughts have not been stifled in any way - working of the markets, division of labour, general prosperity, government and taxation are all there. In essence, Wealth of Nations remains a true classic and I found this edition of it to be an easy and enjoyable read. Overall, its a handy reference book to have on your bookshelf.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. R. Dougan VINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An abridged version of the five volumes comprising "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", first published in 1776 on the eve of the American War of Independence, there are nevertheless 454 pages in this edition, supported by a forty-five page introduction and almost 150 pages of notes.

The introduction, by Kathryn Sutherland, explains the structure of Smith's argument across those five volumes and why she included those elements that she did. It situates Smith's work in the intellectual context of the time. Sutherland, interestingly, is not an economist but a specialist in bibliography and textual criticism, and this may explain her greater interest in the background to Smith's ideas than in identifying the originality of his thought. As her excellent notes make clear, Smith drew on the work of many earlier writers. One of Smith's most famous examples, illustrating the importance of the division of labour into specialised but simpler tasks, pin making, is traced to an essay published by Denis Diderot in Paris in 1755. Much of his thinking on the nature of money was based on theories of John Locke writing almost a century earlier. It was interesting to discover so many of Smith's examples from the economy in the remoter parts of Scotland, often used as an example of a less developed economy than in England, were based on observations by Dr Samuel Johnson, notwithstanding that Adam Smith himself was a Scotsman, and Johnson an (adopted) Londoner who famously quipped that the finest sight in Scotland was the road to England! David Hume, Thomas Hobbes, du Halde, Mandeville are also extensively referenced, and Smith's many references to the classics and to trades and professions long since forgotten are fully explained.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 May 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nobody seriously involved in economics can do without this exhaustive work, originally published in five volumes as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This classic is a pragmatic and accessible milestone in the history of economics. Its author, Adam Smith, is woven into every economics textbook. However, Smith's theories, which today often are recounted mostly in fragments, frequently incorrectly, reveal their entire social and economic innovative power only in context. Smith burst onto the scene at a time when absolutist national states monopolized the world's precious metal reserves and tried to increase their own wealth through stringent export policies. These states were motivated by an entirely new concept about national wealth: that it stemmed from the work of the country's people, not from gold. Based on that idea, economic markets should balance themselves as if guided by an "invisible hand," impelled by each individual's self-interest. The state has to provide only an orderly framework and specific public goods and services. Even though Smith's image of idealized economic and social harmony may have developed a few cracks over the course of time, his ideas have inspired many well-known economists during the past 250 years, including David Ricardo, Vilfredo Pareto, Friedrich August von Hayek and Milton Friedman. We highly recommend this seminal work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin Wilks on 1 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
A classic in its own right, anyone - teachers, reporters, newscasters, politicians, union leaders and company directors especially - who have responsibility for jobs, money and economic growth, this deeply reasoned and soundly conceived work should never be more than an arms length away. Written in technical, formal English and presented as 'five' books, the underlying common-sense of the whole makes it an attractive purchase. I cannot pretend to grasp every nuance that Adam Smith authored but I can see that the mining of this book overtime will not only sharpen the mind but the sharpening will also serve welfare greatly: greatly because if the principles of this book are put into even moderate practice then decision-making will scale new heights. In short, this book reveals how much we have forgotten, not least in the management of finance and capital. The notable quotes at the front of the book invite the turning of the 600 pages that follow. For me, I liked the chapter on the Employment of Capitals, not least because it brings home the lesson that there is a vast difference between consumption and productivity, that welfare is served when the stock of capital is put to work alongside 'useful labour' - in partnership - so that capital and effort are properly rewarded. From this narrow but essential perspective, let me conclude by observing that there is history in this great work, so it ought to appeal to readers who interests are wider that economic well being.
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