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The Essential Adam Smith by [Smith, Adam]
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The Essential Adam Smith Kindle Edition


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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Back Cover

Few writings are more often cited as a cornerstone of modern economic thought than those of Adam Smith. Few are less read. The sheer length of his great work, 'The Wealth of Nations', discourages many from attempting to explore its rich and lucid arguments. In this brilliantly crafted volume, one of the most eminent economists of our day provides a generous selection from the entire body of Smith's work, ranging from his fascinating observations on the psychological nature of man to his famous treatise on what Smith called a 'society of natural liberty, ' The Wealth of Nations.

About the Author

Robert L. Heilbroner was Norman Thomas Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and author of The Worldly Philosophers and many other books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1659 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (17 Mar. 1987)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EK9UTSU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #741,140 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Adam Smith's Ideas 25 Feb. 2000
By Bryan Lukasaweicz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers, I decided to read Smith's Wealth of Nations, but found myself daunted by the length and language of the book. Then I discovered Heilbroner's Essential Adam Smith and was hooked. The book offers the essential parts of Wealth of Nations, as well as a good sampling of some of his other works. As a result, I have not only read the entire Wealth several times, but have also read everything by and about Smith that I can find. Heilbroner's book is a good way to get to the heart of Smith's thinking, but, like me, you will probably find yourself wanting to learn more about the man, his ideas, and his life. Enjoy!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Condensed Capitalism 1 April 2001
By ray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To understand capitalism, read the Wealth of Nations. But, to really understand it, as well as the other ideas of Adam Smith, read his essential works. This book allows the reader to fully grasp the concepts of capitalism and get a clear picture of how and why it works. Thankfully, Heilbronner did not dilute the works of Smith, he just condensed them for the modern day reader. With this book you can cut through the jargon and see the real points that Smith was trying to get across.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, concise summary of Smith 30 May 2010
By Will Jerom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Content Summary: Adam Smith wrote two major works in his life - "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", which is lesser known, and his master work "The Wealth of Nations." Smith is remembered as one of the founding fathers of classical economic theory, known to us today as free market capitalism. In this concise summary, Heilbroner successfully gives us the essence of Smith's moral and economic theory Smith accomplished in both books.

Analytical Review: Heilbroner says that many people quote Adam Smith for their ideas, without actually having read Smith. This short work should help correct that, and I would recommend it (especially for the second half on The Wealth of Nations) as a concise introduction to Smith's thought. Both books would be over three times the length of this volume, so Heilbroner has slimmed the work down considerably, without sacrificing too much of its important meaning. Reading Smith, one is surprised how much his labor theory of value initially correspond to that of Marx, but Smith is much more comfortable with the use of money, and shifts away from the labor theory to market and exchange as the center of value. Like Marx's Capital, there may be parts to agree with, parts to dissent from here. Smith clearly would not give "carte blanche" to the capitalist, as many later thinkers would maintain. In fact Smith quite succinctly says that we should very skeptical of any legislation that is heavily sponsored by the commercial sector, as their interests are often contrary to the public interest. While Smith champions the free market, he has also some consideration for the poor. What he lacks, however, is the crystal clear solidarity with the working poor that is demonstrated in Marx's Capital. Smith's theory makes it seem as if capitalism results in a tide of wealth where all boats rise. This indeed may be true, but it also results in very gross and considerable inequalities. If people would read both works before they may hasty judgments about capitalism or socialism, it would certainly be beneficial.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to have the author's help 2 April 2010
By Robert Kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Adam Smith obviously is not the easiest read but this book does a great job of pointing out the important chapters and sections of Smith's two books. In fact, this book introduced me to "Theory of Moral Sentiments" which seems like a very interesting book too. I have enjoyed Robert Heilbroner's other books and this is right up with them. You can see that he is very passionate about Adam Smith's work and we all benefit from Heilbroner's guidance.
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid book, good for class and student use 20 Dec. 2014
By jonathan perry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book - I use this in several courses I teach and it is a great intro to Smith's thought, and a good gift for students who really find his work interesting. One of a few really nice basic introductions to important economists that is palatable to today's college student in the history of economic thought area.
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