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It is poignant that Adam Smith’s masterpiece of economic analysis, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, was first published in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence.
In his book, Smith fervently extolled the simple yet enlightened notion that individuals are fully capable of setting and regulating prices for their own goods and services. He argued passionately in favor of free trade, yet stood up for the little guy. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations provided the first--and still the most eloquent--integrated description of the workings of a market economy.
The result of Smith’s efforts is a witty, highly readable work of genius filled with sagacious theories that form the basis of a burgeoning capitalist system. This is both a timeless and seminal work that revolutionized the way governments and individuals view the creation and dissemination of wealth--and that continues to influence our economy right up to the present day.
(cover image courtesy of Robert Proksa)
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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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