The Wealth of Nations   -     By: Adam Smith
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The Wealth of Nations

Random House / 1994 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Combining economics, political theory, history, philosophy, and practical programs, Smith's Wealth of Nations 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 the 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, and this great book marked the dawning of a new historical epoch. Complete in one volume, this edition includes Edwin Cannan's celebrated introduction and notes as well as a full index.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 1994
Dimensions: 8.28 X 5.69 X 1.88 (inches)
ISBN: 0679424733
ISBN-13: 9780679424734
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Introduction by Robert Reich
Commentary by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner
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."
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Bio

Adam Smith was born in a small village in Kirkcaldy, Scotland in 1723. He entered the University of Glasgow at age fourteen, and later attended Balliol College at Oxford. After lecturing for a period, he held several teaching positions at Glasgow University. His greatest achievement was writing The Wealth of Nations (1776), a five-book series that sought to expose the true causes of prosperity, and installed him as the father of contemporary economic thought. He died in Edinburgh on July 19, 1790.

Editorial Reviews

"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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