Celebrated author James Buchan on the widely knownbut often misreadScottish 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.
About the Author
James Buchan, a novelist and historian, is the winner of the Duff Cooper Award for Frozen Desire. His most recent work is a study of Enlightenment Edinburgh, Crowded with Genius. He lives in Norwich, England.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations and References vii
Fatherless World 1723-1746 11
Cave, Tree, Fountain 1746-1759 29
Pen-knives and Snuff-boxes 1759 51
Infidel with a Bag Wig 1759-1776 65
Baboons in the Orchard 1776 92
The Forlorn Station 1776-1790 121