The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas

The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas

by James Buchan
     
 

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Celebrated author James Buchan on the widely known—but often misread—Scottish philosopher Adam Smith.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) has been adopted by neoconservatives as the ideological father of unregulated business and small government. His "invisible hand" has become a commanding shorthand for politicians promoting laissez-faire economics, but Smith

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Overview

Celebrated author James Buchan on the widely known—but often misread—Scottish philosopher Adam Smith.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) has been adopted by neoconservatives as the ideological father of unregulated business and small government. His "invisible hand" has become a commanding shorthand for politicians promoting laissez-faire economics, but Smith never used it in reference to free-market capitalism. Smith was a deeply moral man who considered himself a philosopher, not an economist. Drawing on twenty-five years of research, James Buchan renders an Adam Smith untainted by political and economic interests. This compelling narrative uncovers Smith's passionate commitment to develop an ethical theory essential to his vision of a just commercial society.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
If he is thought of at all today, Adam Smith is remembered as an early economic theorist. The reality is that Smith was a philosopher, and his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations (which launched the field of economics), stemmed from his investigations of moral philosophy. In this brief biography, novelist and historian Buchan places Smith's book in context with his other works, his teaching, personal life, and his contemporaries (e.g., David Hume). Buchan provides chapter-long critical examinations of both The Wealth of Nations and Smith's other major work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, an extension of moral inquiry into the world of fashion and manners. Buchan also debunks the myth surrounding the term invisible hand and sheds some light on Smith's lost works. Though the book is brief, Buchan covers the salient points of Smith's life and includes many excerpts from his letters and publications. This foray into Smith's philosophical ideas and 18th-century intellectual life requires some background and would best serve academic libraries.-Lawrence R. Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393329940
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/06/2007
Series:
Enterprise
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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