- Series: The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300169272
- ISBN-13: 978-0300169270
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History) Hardcover – October 5, 2010
"An unabashedly intellectual biography . . . [written] in graceful prose. . . . For all that subsequent generations, no less our own, have taken from Smith's economic contributions, it is indeed enlightening to understand the broader sweep of his vision."--Nancy F. Koehn, New York Times (Nancy F. Koehn New York Times)
“Lively [and] well-observed. . . . It would take a ‘skilful pencil’ to bring Smith to life, warned one of his friends. In bringing Smith’s ideas to life, Phillipson shows that his pencilwork is skilful indeed. ”—The Economist (The Economist)
Named a Favorite Business Book of 2010 by James Pressley, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (James Pressley Bloomberg Business Week)
Named a Best Book of 2010 by the Atlantic (Atlantic Monthly)
Named a Critics' Favorite Book of 2010—The New Yorker (New Yorker)
Named a Best Business Book of 2010 by Tyler Cowen, NPR's "Marketplace" (Tyler Cowen NPR's Marketplace)
"An unabashedly intellectual biography. . . . It is indeed enlightening to understand the broader sweep of [Adam Smith's] vision."—Nancy F. Koehn, New York Times (Nancy F. Koehn New York Times)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Adam Smith's thoughts still have direct relevance to today's bucketful of economic problems--and resulting strident political debates--over government's proper role in terms of expenditures, debt, taxation, and business regulations.
While this book concentrates on the scholarship of Adam Smith, the author also intelligently traces the era within which Smith lived and his private life that included such striking people as David Hume, James Boswell, and Voltaire.
In this current age of instant and empty celebrities, Smith still stands, after about 250 years, as a man worth knowing.
Adam Smith instructed his executors to destroy all his lecture notes, but seven upublished philosophical essays & 193 letters survived to give us a glimpse of this elusive Scottish academic & philosopher, making the market's "invisible hand" come alive again, even if it's only at an intellectual level. This is a highly recommended reading on the 18th century's influential philosopher & academic that is Adam Smith.
Yale has done justice to this wonderful work. The production is a delight to see and to hold. It provides the best answer to e-books because we buyers will surely enjoying pulling it from our shelves, looking at the illustrations, and reading it again.
The book assumes the reader already has a thorough understanding of "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "The Wealth of Nations". If you don't, you'll very quickly become lost and start skimming paragraphs or finish reading a page and not remember a single thing that was discussed.
I may return to this tome after reading TWoN and TToMS; we'll see.
In reality, Smith was one of the greatest figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, a disciple of David Hume, and a profound philosopher of human nature and social order. "Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life" restores him to history. It is excellently written and handsomely produced. I enjoyed it a lot. I took off one star for two main reasons: First, it assumes that the reader has considerable knowledge of 18th century British letters and politics; second, it doesn't do justice to the detailed arguments in The Wealth of Nations -- an omission which will disappoint those readers (probably most) who take up a Smith biography in order to learn more about the history of economics.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really thorough and well thought intellectual biography of Adam Smith. By focusing on his intellectual context we get a real sense of what influenced Smith and what he was actually... Read morePublished 1 month ago
Very thorough explanation of Adam Smith's thinking, it will affect many readers' impressions of the man behind the invisible hand.Published 5 months ago by murray mcdonald
Easy to read synopsis of Smith. Interesting to discover the friendship, beyond being professionally contemporaneous, which existed between Hume and Smith.Published on August 24, 2014 by rs
This a first rate entrance to the Scottish enlightenment, the 20th century is not understood without Adam Smith and what it representsPublished on December 13, 2013 by Valente Souza
Professor Phillipson, to the extent possible given Smith's purposefully limited record, brings Adam Smith the man to life. Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by Samuel J. Sharp
Adam Smith is one of the most important figures in modern economic theory. In a very real sense, he provided the basis for the Industrial Revolution through his emphasis on the... Read morePublished on November 18, 2012 by Russ White
This is a concise and very well written biography of the formidable Adam Smith. This is very much an intellectual biography, partly because Smith's writings were the primary focus... Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by R. Albin