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Saving Adam Smith: A Tale of Wealth, Transformation, and Virtue Paperback – November 8, 2001
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From the Back Cover
Adam Smith ... Father of Modern Economics ... Died in 1790 ... but 200 years later, his spirit is tortured by the caricatures we remember in his name. In "Saving Adam Smith," he is tortured enough to return to Earth ... and so begins a journey of discovery that cuts across two centuries, as doctoral student Richard Burns puts his life on the line to rediscover Smith's most profound insight: Selfishness is not enough.
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Top Customer Reviews
This logical progression of economic science makes sense if the ideas and importance of past discoveries can be easily (and properly) conveyed by individuals unfamiliar with the original texts. For example, few physicists need to read the work of Newton to understand his discoveries and their importance to an understanding of how the world works today.
To some extent, the same may not be true about economics. While some ideas, such as a consumption function might be easily conveyed without reading the original texts, the same may not be true of all economic insights. The distillation of a lifetime of work into a few paragraphs may not only fail to properly convey the important nature of an author?s work, but the distillation process might, over time, distort the message so much that it an economists work is frequently interpreted to mean something very different from what was originally intended.
University of Richmond economist Jonathan B. Wight clearly believes this to be the case with Adam Smith. Since few economists today read THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, let alone the book Smith thought was his best THE THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS, their knowledge of his work is often limited to ?the invisible hand.?
The invisible hand is frequently taken to mean that selfishness is enough to make markets work. As Wight demonstrates in the book, Smith?s true insight was that ?selfishness is simply not enough? to make markets work.
Wight has undertaken an important task with this book. Not only is it good fiction (at least to a graduate student in economics), it is good economics and good pedagogy. SAVING ADAM SMITH will do more for economics than 90 percent of the articles in the AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW.
It's full of economic sense mixed with a little history and philosophy thrown in, tied up in an exciting story that kept the pages turning. I hate wasting time, which is why I don't usually read fiction. With this book I got enjoyment and learned something useful at the same time. It's definitely a book I'll keep, if I don't loan it to friends first. A great read and highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was assigned this book for school, but despite that I ended up loving it! The story is interesting and compelling, whilst still making interesting economic points. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Nick Alves
the product was as described and reached my home within a reasonable amount of time and the price was fair.Published on May 19, 2013 by Arpit Pathak
the book is simple and interesting. It helps one understand how wealth is related to/not related to happiness and other moral values in life. Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by AS
Although fictitious and occasionally preachy, this book had several good points which outlined the importance of an economic system run by morals. All in all it was goodPublished on January 3, 2013 by Cole lorimer
Great book. A must read for anyone who thinks they understand Adam Smith's approach to economics. Some surprises in store.Published on October 26, 2010 by RandyF
This book was very disappointing because I was hoping to get a new perspective on economic thought. However, what I read was nothing of the sort. Read morePublished on May 27, 2004 by Jay Schumacher