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 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.

Product Details

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

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
Introduction     1
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
Notes     146

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