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The Wealth of Nations (Modern Library, hardcover)

Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 at 07:19 PM CT

The Wealth of Nations


The first truly scientific argument for the principles of political economy.

Description from The Reader's Catalog
First published in 1776

From The Publisher
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.


Author Note from The Reader's Catalog
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was the father of economics. He originated the idea that the unrestricted operations of a free market have the status of natural law; he was the first to note the importance of the division of labor and to hypothesize that the value of a commodity corresponds to its labor input.

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