Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Saving Adam Smith: A Tale of Wealth, Transformation, and Virtue Paperback – November 8, 2001
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
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.
On the other hand, it really is an interesting and fairly exciting story, which isn't afraid to acknowledge and embrace the silliness of its premise. I had fun reading it, and while the argument Wight presents was hard to understand, the basic underlying economic issues were well-explained. Overall, a fun read on a usually not-so-fun topic, which simply needs a little bit of refinement about the larger point to be successful.
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.