Wealth of Nations
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Wealth of Nations

By (author) Adam Smith

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But, as Andrew Skinner reveals in his introduction to this edition, the real sophistication of "The Wealth of Nations" lies less in individual areas of economic analysis than in its overall picture of a vast analytical system--a capitalist economy--in which all the parts can be seen simultaneously interacting with each other. In addition, Smith's view of society was not merely an economic one. "The Wealth of Nations" is far from being an apologia for unregulated business enterprise: Smith was at pains to point out that economic advance can have undesirable social consequences, and that labour which is economically unproductive can be beneficial to society at large.

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  • Hardback | 966 pages
  • 144.78 x 205.74 x 58.42mm | 1,124.9g
  • 30 Apr 1994
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • 0679424733
  • 9780679424734
  • 213,165

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Author Information

Adam Smith was born in a small village in Kirkcaldy, Scotland in 1723. He entered the University of Glasgow at age fourteen, and later attended Balliol College at Oxford. After lecturing for a period, he held several teaching positions at Glasgow University. His greatest achievement was writing The Wealth of Nations (1776), a five-book series that sought to expose the true causes of prosperity, and installed him as the father of contemporary economic thought. He died in Edinburgh on July 19, 1790.

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Review quote

"Adam Smith's enormous authority resides, in the end, in the same property that we discover in Marx: not in any ideology, but in an effort to see to the bottom of things." --Robert L. Heilbroner "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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Back cover copy

The Wealth Of Nations was recognized as a landmark of human though upon its publication in 1776. As the first scientific argument for the principles of political economy, it is the point of departure for all subsequent economic thought.

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Flap copy

Adam Smith's masterpiece, first published in 1776, is the foundation of modern economic thought and remains the single most important account of the rise of, and the principles behind, modern capitalism. Written in clear and incisive prose, The Wealth of Nations articulates the concepts indispensable to an understanding of contemporary society; and Robert Reich's new Introduction for this edition both clarifies Smith's analyses and illuminates his overall relevance to the world in which we live. As Reich writes, "Smith's mind ranged over issues as fresh and topical today as they were in the late eighteenth century--jobs, wages, politics, government, trade, education, business, and ethics." "From the Trade Paperback edition.

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