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."
Simon & Brown
Simon & Brown
Simon & Brown
Simon & Brown
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a good book, all in all, although it took me quite a while to read and is not exactly a page turner unless you're into long-winded discussion of silver prices, etc. I read this because it is often cited by libertarian types and people quoting the invisible hand. It has interesting bits about markets, labor, monopoly and people exercising power to bend the state to their own economic interests. It also mentions government profligacy but I took it to mean that people living in the context of less politically representative times where the crown and/or state put money towards wasteful wars and unproductive aristocratic administrators that most people had no say about. There are also passages referring to the upper classes and employers' ability to conspire together to hold down wages and workers, and if common people did the same to organize to hold up wages as well as their own interest, the hammer was usually brought down. Definitely not the super free market book it is...
I find this a very good book - a classic
It was a pleasant surprise to find that people living in 18th century would approach the questions about human society, labour and formation of prices of goods not on political or emotional basis but trying to find out "how things work" in fact.
Previously I was of the opinion that economists are people that are not to be taken seriously and so was , I thought Adam Smith himself (my judgement was based on some "citations" from him that I had read).
Now it seems to me I was wrong - may be he had asked himself the simple questions that everybody dares to ask himself in a given period of his/her life. Except that everybody, gives up searching for the answers to these questions and accepts the meaningless explanation: what we see happenning in human society, happens in this way because this is how it should happen. Or because of .. the raise of the prices on the market, for example. (Obviously prices are something...
Did not appreciate o'rourke's capacity to digest and inform, with a satire almost as dense as Adam Smith's prose! I would never have comprehended the latter -- far less been able to relate it to the present in such complexity -- without the help of the former!
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