The Wealth of Nations (Modern Library)

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9780679424734: The Wealth of Nations (Modern Library)

First published in 1776, The Wealth of Nations is generally regarded as the foundation of contemporary economic thought. Adam Smith, a Scottish professor of moral philosophy, expounded the then-revolutionary doctrine of economic liberalism. The book’s importance was immediately recognized by Smith’s peers, and later economists have shown an unusual consensus in their admiration for his ideas. 

Combining economics, political theory, history, philosophy, and practical programs, Smith assumes that human self-interest is the basic psychological drive behind economics and that a natural order in the universe makes all the individual, self-interested strivings add up to the social good. His conclusion, that the best program is to leave the economic process alone and that government is useful only as an agent to preserve order and to perform routine functions, is now known as laissez-faire economics or noninterventionism. 

In noting for the first time the significance of the division of labor and by stating the hypothesis that a commodity’s value correlates to its labor input, Smith anticipated the writings of Karl Marx. Like Marx’s Das Capital and Machiavelli’s The Prince, his great book marked the dawning of a new historical epoch. 
 

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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 Trade Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover:

The Wealth Of Nations was recognized as a landmark of human though upon its publication in 1776. As the first scientific argument for the principles of political economy, it is the point of departure for all subsequent economic thought.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1994. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. But, as Andrew Skinner reveals in his introduction to this edition, the real sophistication of The Wealth of Nations lies less in individual areas of economic analysis than in its overall picture of a vast analytical system--a capitalist economy--in which all the parts can be seen simultaneously interacting with each other. In addition, Smith s view of society was not merely an economic one. The Wealth of Nations is far from being an apologia for unregulated business enterprise: Smith was at pains to point out that economic advance can have undesirable social consequences, and that labour which is economically unproductive can be beneficial to society at large. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780679424734

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1994. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. But, as Andrew Skinner reveals in his introduction to this edition, the real sophistication of The Wealth of Nations lies less in individual areas of economic analysis than in its overall picture of a vast analytical system--a capitalist economy--in which all the parts can be seen simultaneously interacting with each other. In addition, Smith s view of society was not merely an economic one. The Wealth of Nations is far from being an apologia for unregulated business enterprise: Smith was at pains to point out that economic advance can have undesirable social consequences, and that labour which is economically unproductive can be beneficial to society at large. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780679424734

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