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The Wealth of Nations Paperback – October 5, 2012
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"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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This book holds the keys to national prosperity. It's almost unfathomable to me that one book can teach so much. You will learn about what an economy is, trade, wages, banking, monetary policy, taxes, public debts, agriculture, history, the list goes on and on.
This book is must-read.
Now a review of this specific edition: The font is quite small which makes it hard to read. This is especially a consideration for a 586 page book. I suggest finding another (rather than this Simon & Brown).
Particularly interesting were his thesis on "Division of Labor"(page 15), rules of market place based on self interest(page 23-24), description of banking crisis (page 395), free trade (page 572, with the famous "invisible hand"), property rights (page 684), description of Founding Fathers in US (page 790), free market principle (page 873), rule of law (page 901, 1157), role of government (page 919), human nature and incentives (page 965), freedom of religion (page 1000-1001), progressive tax system (page 1065), government debt (page 1171), currency devaluation (page 1185).
Many of the ideas that form a basis of American/Western society can be traced back to the ideas found in Wealth of Nations, which would be no small feat. (Rules of the market place, rule of law, property rights, freedom of religion comes to mind.)
I would recommend it to anyone who has the will and time to peruse this superb volume.
However, as far as the Kindle version is concerned, and I'm only specifically talking about the format/medium of this text, that's just ok. Most of these free Kindle books leave a lot to be desired and this is no different. Since it wasn't translated we don't have to argue over the quality of the interpretation, however it is a dense tome and I find these require a little more navigation for full digestion. A lot of flipping back and forth, checking out the index, notes, table of contents, previous chapters, etc. And all of this is a bit challenging to do on the Kindle. Nevertheless, the text seems to fine. Scanned alright. So if you want to casually explore the thoughts of Smith on a less than ideal platform, here you go. As a scholar, I'd prefer a hard copy.