The Wealth of Nations (Books 1-3)

The Wealth of Nations (Books 1-3)

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by Adam Smith
     
 

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The Wealth of Nations is a book that every thinking person should have on their shelf. Though some rough spots in Adam's thinking have emerged over time, his classic book still provides the logic on which capitalism rests its bones. Not until Marx did someone really challenge its dictates --- Smith basically won the argument on most points. But willingness for those…  See more details below

Overview

The Wealth of Nations is a book that every thinking person should have on their shelf. Though some rough spots in Adam's thinking have emerged over time, his classic book still provides the logic on which capitalism rests its bones. Not until Marx did someone really challenge its dictates --- Smith basically won the argument on most points. But willingness for those with an inability to think critically, to use this book as justification for the domination of the weak by the strong, has little to do with Smith --- it has everything to do with those who are looking for justification of greed. The Wealth of Nations presents the economic underpinnings of capitalism in a concrete way. Filled with ideas, this economic classic is often convincing, sometimes outdated, and frequently fundamental to belief in free-markets. Smith's ideas are combined with appealing (or appalling) examples of the injustice done to people by disturbing the free-market. Essentially, The Wealth of Nations is a treatise on the power of individuals to maximize their own wealth which manages (rather ably) to support the natural liberty of men while arguing for free markets. Smith doesn't argue for free markets as a perfect system in which there will be no misery. Rather, he shows that economic freedom is the system that gives individuals the greatest (and most just) opportunity to gain happiness and which will be the quickest to respond to changes in supply and demand. The Wealth of Nations doesn't support or suggest the "goodness" of goodness of companies and business as a whole, as it is in the interest of companies to create a supply shortage so they can ask prices above cost. Instead, Smith suggests that the free market is the best way to break the price-setting power that otherwise might be wielded. The Wealth of Nations also reveals that political decisions that at fist glance seems compassionate, might in fact be inhumane, cruel and the cause of much suffering (because on the long run they lead to a supply shortage). The examples given here, are still relevant to view the decisions made by politicians in today's so-called free market countries. Books I-III of the Wealth of Nations examines the 'division of labor' as the key to economic growth, by ensuring the interdependence of individuals within society. They also cover the origins of money, the importance of wages, profit, rent and stocks. Smith's work laid the foundations of economic theory in general and 'classical' economics in particular, but the real sophistication of his analysis derives from the fact that it also encompasses a combination of ethics, philosophy and history to create a vast panorama of society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781494844684
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
12/31/2013
Pages:
188
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. It earned him an enormous reputation and would become one of the most influential works on economics ever published. Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism. Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow teaching moral philosophy, and during this time he wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day. Smith returned home and spent the next ten years writing The Wealth of Nations, publishing it in 1776. He died in 1790.

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The Wealth of Nations 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Uchtraeda More than 1 year ago
To sell an abridged edition without stating that is in fact abridged is, simply, fraud. I would like to read, and make up my own mind about as well as learn from, ALL of what Adam Smith wrote.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ABRIDGED
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nobody seriously involved in economics can do without this exhaustive work, originally published in five volumes as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This classic is a pragmatic and accessible milestone in the history of economics. Its author, Adam Smith, is woven into every economics textbook. However, Smith¿s theories, which today often are recounted mostly in fragments, frequently incorrectly, reveal their entire social and economic innovative power only in context. Smith burst onto the scene at a time when absolutist national states monopolized the world's precious metal reserves and tried to increase their own wealth through stringent export policies. These states were motivated by an entirely new concept about national wealth: that it stemmed from the work of the country's people, not from gold. Based on that idea, economic markets should balance themselves as if guided by an 'invisible hand,' impelled by each individual's self-interest. The state has to provide only an orderly framework and specific public goods and services. Even though Smith's image of idealized economic and social harmony may have developed a few cracks over the course of time, his ideas have inspired many well-known economists during the past 250 years, including David Ricardo, Vilfredo Pareto, Friedrich August von Hayek and Milton Friedman. We highly recommend this seminal work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written by Adam Smith who was the founding father of capitalism. This book was the the historical book that changed the views of many people. This book is highly regarded in the economics community. I reccomend it for anyone who is interested in econ or capitalism. A must read for any thinkers.
DaedelusPrime More than 1 year ago
All you need to know.
reACTIONary More than 1 year ago
This is reprint's Edwin Cannan's extensively annotated 1904 scholarly edition. This is the edition reprinted by the University of Chicago Press in 1976 for the 200th anniversary of its original publication. You can be assured that this is the most widely accepted, standard academic edition. It does not contain Cannan's Introduction or Index. It does contain his Notes and Marginal Summary. Obviously it does not have the George J. Stigler's Preface from the UofC edition, but it contains an introduction by Robert Reich, commentary by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner and a Modern Library "Reading Group Guide". Having looked over all of the edition's on the B&N site, I recommend this one as superior to the others, even if more expensive.
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RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
getAbstract believes that no serious economist can do without this exhaustive work, originally published in five volumes as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This classic is a pragmatic and accessible milestone in the history of economics. Its author, Adam Smith, is woven into every economics textbook. However, Smith's theories, which today often are recounted mostly in fragments, frequently incorrectly, reveal their entire social and economic innovative power only in context. Smith burst onto the scene at a time when absolutist national states monopolized the world's precious metal reserves and tried to increase their own wealth through stringent export policies. These states were motivated by an entirely new concept about national wealth: that it stemmed from the work of the country's people, not from gold. Based on that idea, economic markets should balance themselves as if guided by an "invisible hand," impelled by each individual's self-interest. The state has to provide only an orderly framework and specific public goods and services. Even though Smith's image of idealized economic and social harmony may have developed a few cracks over the course of time, his ideas have inspired many well-known economists during the past 250 years, including David Ricardo, Vilfredo Pareto and Milton Friedman.
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Regent More than 1 year ago
Very Informative. Insights proved to be accurate over time. This book helped me to form better conclusions and analysis of cultures for one of my books.
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Extremely tedious, laborious reading with somewhat outdated vernacular, but a must-read for those interested in the history of economic theory.
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