An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: A Selected Edition (OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS)

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9780192817969: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: A Selected Edition (OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS)
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Addressing the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, Adam Smith made one of the most potent contributions to subsequent ideological history. In the West since the early-19th century he has been the patron saint of "homo economicus". More recently, successive British governments have invoked his policy recommendations of free trade and "laissez-faire" to aid their extension of privatization and market effectiveness into areas such as health and education. Smith, however, not only viewed merchants and manufacturers with deep suspicion, but also tempered his celebration of a self-regulating market with a darker vision of the dehumanizing potential of a profit-orientated society. He did not write an economics textbook, however, but rather a narrative about the struggle for individual liberty and general prosperity in history. This selected edition includes sections from all five books of the "Wealth of Nations". It also provides full notes and a commentary that places Smith's work within a rich interdisciplinary environment.

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From the Inside Flap:

Adam Smith's masterpiece, first published in 1776, is the foundation of modern economic thought and remains the single most important account of the rise of, and the principles behind, modern capitalism. Written in clear and incisive prose, The Wealth of Nations articulates the concepts indispensable to an understanding of contemporary society; and Robert Reich's new Introduction for this edition both clarifies Smith's analyses and illuminates his overall relevance to the world in which we live. As Reich writes, "Smith's mind ranged over issues as fresh and topical today as they were in the late eighteenth century--jobs, wages, politics, government, trade, education, business, and ethics."

From the Back Cover:

"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

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