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The Wealth of Nations Paperback – October 5, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (October 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161382081X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820810
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By areaman on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a good book, all in all, although it took me quite a while to read and is not exactly a page turner unless you're into long-winded discussion of silver prices, etc. I read this because it is often cited by libertarian types and people quoting the invisible hand. It has interesting bits about markets, labor, monopoly and people exercising power to bend the state to their own economic interests. It also mentions government profligacy but I took it to mean that people living in the context of less politically representative times where the crown and/or state put money towards wasteful wars and unproductive aristocratic administrators that most people had no say about. There are also passages referring to the upper classes and employers' ability to conspire together to hold down wages and workers, and if common people did the same to organize to hold up wages as well as their own interest, the hammer was usually brought down. Definitely not the super free market book it is sometimes made out to be. There are good insights, as well as many contradictions. Overall, good but very much a product of it's time. I think Marx's Capital to be a much sharper piece of economic analysis, but then again, it was also written much later. Can't wait for the movie version.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivailo on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find this a very good book - a classic

It was a pleasant surprise to find that people living in 18th century would approach the questions about human society, labour and formation of prices of goods not on political or emotional basis but trying to find out "how things work" in fact.

Previously I was of the opinion that economists are people that are not to be taken seriously and so was , I thought Adam Smith himself (my judgement was based on some "citations" from him that I had read).

Now it seems to me I was wrong - may be he had asked himself the simple questions that everybody dares to ask himself in a given period of his/her life. Except that everybody, gives up searching for the answers to these questions and accepts the meaningless explanation: what we see happenning in human society, happens in this way because this is how it should happen. Or because of .. the raise of the prices on the market, for example. (Obviously prices are something like a natural natural phenomena - raise of the tempratures in the northern hemisphere , humidity in the air,...) After several "explanations" of this kind , one gives up - it is immpossible to find out what is going on in society because this is the purpose. The less people know, the better for ... for everyone who can take advantage out of this.

For 90% (well this is my evaluation) of the people what is going on with money and prices is a mystery. At the same time they are forced to participate in this "game" and participate in some stupid manner. Then a game that is played in a stupid manner and played by players, unwilling to play it (at least for 90% of them this is just a burden) will come to a crush eventually. It seems it is inevitable that there will always be crises every 30-40 years.

I do not know whether Adam Smith is correct in his explanations but I think he is absolutely correct that one must search the reason for the processes that take place in society.
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By maya: on September 3, 2012
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Did not appreciate o'rourke's capacity to digest and inform, with a satire almost as dense as Adam Smith's prose! I would never have comprehended the latter -- far less been able to relate it to the present in such complexity -- without the help of the former!
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By Karla on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great buy! Great cost for a amazing classic!!!! My son is taking honors English in high school and has required reading, of which he chose this great work!
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By Carol Kay on September 25, 2014
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A classic that is as good as ever. It never gets outdated. All economic theory buffs must include this on their must read list.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lucas on December 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought it as a gift. I have the same book on a different version. For those who like business and are interetsted in the creation of capitalism and our today's economy, this is a great book.
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