Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith, Volumes 1 and 2) / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith's Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that affect economic behavior. Throughout he offers seminal arguments for free trade, free markets, and limited government.

Criticizing mercantilists who sought to use the state to increase their nations' supply of precious metals, Smith points out that a nation's wealth should be measured by the well-being of its people. Prosperity in turn requires voluntary exchange of goods in a peaceful, well-ordered market. How to establish and maintain such markets? For Smith the answer lay in man's social instincts, which government may encourage by upholding social standards of decency, honesty, and virtue, but which government undermines when it unduly interferes with the intrinsically private functions of production and exchange. Social and economic order arise from the natural desires to better one's (and one's family's) lot and to gain the praise and avoid the censure of one's neighbors and business associates. Individuals behave decently and honestly because it gives them a clear conscience as well as the good reputation necessary for public approbation and sustained, profitable business relations.

While it has been pointed to time and again by governments promoting laissez-faire economics, the Wealth of Nations actually shows that Smith viewed capitalism with a deep suspicion. This edition includes generous selections from all five books of the Wealth of Nations and features notes and commentary.

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Average Rating 3.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Yes, OCR

    Actually it IS an OCR and a rather poor quality one at that.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    WHY

    Why are there so many copies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    TOO MANY

    There are about a BILLION copies in the biology and life sciences experements section in the book shop. WHY? WHY? WWWHHHYYYY?!?!?
    If you agree, post back.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Pp Poor scanning

    Why dont they proofread and correct. Quantity over quality.
    So satisfied with mediocrity. Well i dont have read the book to know where that has lead.

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