The Wealth Of Nations : Books 1-3 : Complete And Unabridged Paperback – 15 Feb 2009
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"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was born in Glasgow and after being educated in Glasgow and Oxford, he held a number of academic posts before becoming tutor to the young Duke of Buccleuch. This post took him to France where he began writing his political treatise, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS.
Andrew S. Skinner is Adam Smith Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus at Glasgow University and has published widely on Adam Smith and is the editor of the first three volumes of THE WEALTH OF NATIONS for Penguin.
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Top Customer Reviews
Nowadays though, Smith's concluding attack on state expenditure in Book five, which is excellently written, grabs most attention. The idea is that, having covered creation of wealth, he now covers taxation and government spending. He argues that a market economy should be allowed to grow with light regulation and limited assistance from public works and education. The application of the idea of self-interest to the design of systems where it works to social advantage is also relevant to modern economic theories of system design. Book four is a review of preceding economic theory.
So the modern reader new to Smith has the choice of looking for a one-volume edition of the whole five books or going for this two-volume version. You would still get something out of the rhetoric of book five on its own, though I'd recommend perhaps reading that first, but still looking at the whole thing to get the most out of it.
Crucially: Smith cuts straight to the core and clarifies the issues that have confused decision makers prior to his writings. The amazing thing is that the general public, the media and politicians are still confused by it! They should all read Wealth of Nations.
Much of the book is impenetrable - not to say at times boring. But it can also be entertaining and very interesting. At least 20% of the book is very readable - principally these sections:-
Book 1 Chapter 1, 2 and 3 - pages 9 to 26
Book 3 all four chapters - pages 372 to 414
Book 4 chapter 7 part I - pages 551 to 560
and part III - pages 586 to 639
pages 656 - 660 (begining with the words “The exportation...”)
Book 5 Chapter 1, Parts 1 - pages 691 to 708
and Part 2 - pages 708 to 721
and Part 3- Article 2 - pages 758 to 784
pages 951 - 954 the last pages in the book (begining with words: “It is not contrary...”)
These pages have as much to do with history and sociology as they have to do with economics.
Much much more to it than the "invisible hand of reason" that is basically all that has been taken from it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting but it is heavy reading, as is the book itself! As you start to read it, you start to see how capitalism started.Published 2 months ago by Richard Crossan
If you've got an interest in classical liberalism or libertarianism then this is for you.Published 2 months ago by Simon Walmsley
unabridged last 2 volumes of the 'capitalist manifesto' :) , full of basics about trade, price, tax etc.Published 6 months ago by Y. Yordanov
Nice good quality book in perfect condition and fast delivery really pleased with it.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer