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The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation Paperback – June 11, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486434613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434612
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Ricardo became a stockbroker at the age of 21 and slowly became a recognized economic scholar in England. Though he retired at 42, he spent the following years of his life concentrating on his writing and research. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Therefore; wages will increase in response to increases in the demand for labor.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
Ricardo's book is one of the "essential" works of classical political economy, and is still of interest to students of economics today.
Steven H. Propp
Ricardo's work is clear and concise and further explains the numerous concepts covered by economists like Adam Smith and Karl Marx.
Michael L. Wolff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
The ideas put forward by Ricardo in this book challenges some of the ideas presented by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations, particularly in the principles of economic rent. Ricardo also revealed interesting insights on the subject of value in chapter 1.
To understand the text fully,it would be advisable to have read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, another book in the Great Minds Series, which I had also painfully digested.
Like other books in the Great Mind's series, have a good cup of coffee ready. It is a very challenging and difficult read. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile read for those serious in understanding the foundations of the present economic systems.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Skip Church on January 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Some authors you read, and perhaps think, "I wish I'd written that!" Ricardo, like Adam Smith and John Locke, are in another league altogether. The originality of mind is stunning. Smith, Mill, Malthus and J.B. Say are all more readable, which I fear sounds like a very poor recommendation for Ricardo! Still, I was so bowled over by the originality of his theoretical line, that I forgave much slow slogging through a difficult text. His theory of rent is I think quite misguided, but is so powerfully presented that I was hard put to think how I might argue against it were Ricardo to appear before me in person. I took this book about ten pages at a time, and found it well worth the trouble.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Roberto P. De Ferraz on February 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Along with Adam Smith, the Englishman David Ricardo is one of the fathers of the so-called Classics school of economic thought, and the Principles is his major opus, one he was very much reluctant to write, but only did so at the urgings of James Mill and his son John. Written in the first half of the 19th victorian century, he was nonetheless, a very freed mind, who did not accept or indulge in the extravagancies of the beginning of the industrialization proccess in England. To David Ricardo, Karl Marx owes a good share of his theory of labour, something essential in the labour movements of then. The concepts adapted and created by David Ricardo is transported to the text in a dry and concise style, not too much worried in polemics, but only interested in address the topics he raises in a very precise way. IF you are a student of Social Sciences, this book is a must.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Graham on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Maestro Reprints (aka CreateSpace) text is a reprint of the 1st Edition of Ricardo's work.

Ricardo's ideas on political economy, especially on labor value, rent and comparative advantage, were extremely influential in the evolution of classical economics and deserve careful reading. However Ricardo's initial discussion of labor value contained some significant issues, and Ricardo made considerable revisions to this section in the 3rd Edition, as well as other scattered changes. For a modern reader trying to understand Ricardo's ideas, it is probably best to start with the 3rd Edition, as best representing his final position.

The Maestro Edition also contains some significant typos in tables in the first and second chapters. This causes conflicts between the tables and the text.

After realizing these issues with the Maestro/CreateSpeace version, I switched to the Liberty Fund version, which is based on a scholarly UK edition sponsored by the Royal Economic Society. That text is based on Ricardo's 3rd Edition, but also includes footnotes or appendices with the text from earlier editions for any revised sections.

Based on what I've seen, I'd definitely recommend the Liberty Fund version as the better text.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sareinhart on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book, well frankly because I wanted to read John Maynard Keynes' General Theory. I got 2 pages into it and realized that I needed to do a little more background work. Keynes referred to Ricardo a bunch in those first few pages, so I skipped to this book.

I am VERY glad that I read Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" before I read this book. Ricardo constantly refers back to it. He also refers to Malthus, Buchannan and Say alot. I did learn a great deal in this book-and he proved very effectively some points that seemed counter-intuitive to me. There are a few things that I still don't agree with, but I recognize this as a the next step down the road to modern economics.

The language in this book was more "modern english" than "The Wealth of Nations" but still not what I would consider entirely modern. Another thing that made this book a little more readable was the lack of long digressions on various things. Ricardo's examples were short and very illustrative. "The Wealth of Nations" was laced with Enlightenment philosophy which really made my little libertarian heart flood with joy. There was none of that, here. Very much more like a text book.

The reason I knocked off a star was Ricardo's habit of taking great pains to explain in great detail how this or that would happen under this or that circumstance...and then in 1 paragraph at the end explain why this would never actually happen, or explain why he didn't really mean what it sounded like he was saying. Frustrating.

Overall, a good and very worthwhile read. Don't expect to be entertained-but expect to learn something.
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