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As one of the first titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ Books That Changed the World” series, America’s most provocative satirist, P. J. O’Rourke, reads Adam Smith’s revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you don’t have to. Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long: the original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries,” which, to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.” Although daunting, Smith’s tome is still essential to understanding such current hot-topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this hilarious, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P. J. puts his trademark wit to good use, and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important.
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P. J. O'Rourke is the bestselling author of ten books, including The CEO of the Sofa, Eat the Rich, Parliament of Whores, and All the Trouble in the World. The former editor in chief of National Lampoon magazine, O'Rourke now writes for Rolling Stone and the Atlantic Monthly. He lives in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over one hundred of them in theater and film, Michael is primarily heard, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. During his career as a one-man repertory company, he has recorded many series with running characters---including the complete Travis McGee adventures by John D. MacDonald and the complete Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout---as well as series by such masters as Mark Twain, John Cheever, and John Updike. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for At All Costs by Sam Moses and In Nixon's Web by L. Patrick Gray III. Named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine, he holds an M.F.A. in theater from the University of Southern California. Michael appears regularly on the professional stage, including as a memberFrom AudioFile:
Anyone who can make Adam Smith funny has a rare and precious gift. Smith's 1776 economic opus, ON THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, is a book that changed the world and is "also recognized as being really long." The satirist P.J. O'Rourke has slogged through all 900 pages "so you don't have to" and shares the important points with his listeners. O'Rourke discusses the book's ideas and Smith's biographical details intelligently and articulately, concluding almost every paragraph with a wry and insightful one-liner. Michael Prichard has a good feel for O'Rourke's dry sense of humor. His narration is suitably unadorned, though he mixes in just enough accents and voicings to make sure the listener doesn't take it all too seriously. D.B. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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