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The Wealth of Nations, Books 1-3 (The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  465 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Originally delivered in the form of lectures at Glasgow, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations Books I-III laid the foundations of economic theory in general and 'classical' economics in particular, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Andrew Skinner.

The publication of The Wealth of Nations in 1776 coincided with America's Declaration
Paperback, 544 pages
Published February 25th 1982 by Penguin Classics (first published 1776)
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Brandon Colligan
May 20, 2014 Brandon Colligan rated it really liked it
"The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith is a collection of three books on different subjects in economic theory, marketing philosophy and economics. All of these books contain numerous subjects. The first book is titled "Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive Powers of Labour". This book talks about the division of labor and how certain professions buy and sell more and have a greater output in a market. This book also talks about the importance of stock and wages in a company. The second ...more
Niall Fitzpatrick
May 31, 2015 Niall Fitzpatrick rated it it was amazing
A very challenging but rewarding read. I did start it before but found this edition much easier to stick with. I read a lot about economic history already but the genius of Adam Smith is his passive explications of every day trade in its influencing conditions. The book can be numbingly in-depth, porridge for the mind but there in lies its goodness, its intellectual nourishment. So many economics books are just reactions to the zietgeist of the times in which they're published but Smiths work is ...more
Nov 16, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the work, published in 1776, that transformed the economy of the Western world from mercantilism to capitalism, setting the stage for the global economy today. Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, purposely coincided the publishing of his book with the founding of the United States of America, which he determined would be the principal laboratory for his grand economic experiment. Smart guy...
Nandini Goel
Mar 26, 2016 Nandini Goel rated it it was amazing
"Wealth of Nations - Book 1 to 3" by "Adam Smith" is one of the most popular treatise on economics,I have read and maybe that I ever will read. Adam Smith has been considered as the father of Modern Economics. Well, in the first 3 books which I have read now, there is a myriad knowledge on Economics which is quite relatable to the present day world. Although, this book has been written around 1770's but still much of it's principles are applicable even today. The reason I conclude for this is ...more
Apr 30, 2015 Samuel rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As a layman in economics, I have to stand in awe of this book. This is mainly for two reasons:

First and foremost, the book is extremely accessible and simple to read. By this I do not mean that to understand what the author preaches one just has to read it all the way, like the average fantasy story; some questions, if not all, deserve and require the reader to think for himself so that he can form a correct picture of the dynamics of Smith's economics as a whole, and not just "listen" to his ar
Ouvrage économique du milieu du 18eme d'un professeur de philosophie écossais. Il développe les idées de division du travail et d'utilisation du capital pour stimuler la prospérité de tous, tout en étant conscient des inégalités que ça entraine. C'est écrit avec vigueur : Smith ne cache pas son mépris à l'égard de la noblesse, qui va céder inexorablement le pas à la bourgeoisie. Je trouve le sujet parfois aride, voir déprimant, mais l'auteur parviens à éclaircir son propos en étant très ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Tania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heh, this book is one of the reasons I laugh at people who seem to think Capitalism is some great long-established monolith including for some reason marriage and religion and whatever else they dislike! Pro-tip people married to join property before Capitalism.
I'm not going to say it's not heavy going because it is and it's also VERY much of it's times. One the other hand this does have the upper side of their being a comparative lack of statistical jargon to push through since this book prett
Dec 17, 2014 Waseem rated it it was amazing
Note: this is a combined review for 2 sets of books

Wow, what can I say, let me first tell you am writing this review based on reading all his books 1-5, so Ive copied this review in to the other book set, but seriously, I wanna congratulate anybody who has read this book and has had the will power and patience to finish them off, because mines was certainly tested, luckily for me, I got the audiobook versions of all 1-5 books of adam smith, but even then, it must have taken 20hours+ to listen th
Aaron Hutmacher
Dec 06, 2013 Aaron Hutmacher rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading books from many of our countries founders. Adam Smith is essential to America's History. I enjoyed the first part of the book the most as it discussed the origins of money. I also like the fact that Adam Smith gives several examples. There are many notable quotes within the book. "The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange."
"A person who can acquire no property, can have no other interest but to eat as much, and to labor as lit
Rob Mills
Sep 22, 2014 Rob Mills rated it it was ok
It's a classic.. I like classics. It's the seminal capitalist work.. and I'm a capitalist.
.. but I still didn't like it. I've read so many works on finance and economics that I found all of it very dry and the explanations labourious. I just couldn't transport myself back in time to appreciate that he was likely introducing many ideas for the first time.
The (100pg) introduction was interesting and highlighted that Adam Smith's real contribution was his focus on division of labour. This is such
Nov 16, 2016 Inveritatis_amore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prior to this study, most Nation's wealth was a crude measure of gold/silver bullion held by the state; Smith, however, described the wealth of a nation as the totality of production by the citizens and industries of the state.

While this publication is essential to the development of neoclassical economics, most of its ardent fans tend to cherry pick the elements that support their particular version of "the way the world should be."

Fortunately, Smith was more complex than most people recogniz
Subhav Bhatia
I am rating this book 3 stars more because I am a pleb,when it comes to economics,than because this book is mediocre. I could argue that Mr.Smith could have done more to make the prose engaging but, I'll instead admit that I could have done a lot more to prevent boredom by way of reading actively and researching facts/opinions that did not make themselves immediately clear to me. I let things slide - technical terms mostly and before I knew it I didn't know what I was reading. I wish I could ...more
Alex Milledge
May 05, 2014 Alex Milledge rated it really liked it
I really like Smith's book because it is a much easier economy read to follow. It reads better than say keyne's general theory of money and employment, and contains an evaluation of history through economics.

I don't find anything I disagree with Smith on, because I don't contain enough info on economics to critique him, but I've heard that some concepts of classical theory have been refuted by modern economists like Keynes. Again, don't know the exact differences from classical than the modern,
Nov 16, 2016 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
These books need to be read by people concerned about the economic paths society is taken. Smith, when read, is being abused by current economic ideologues, who cite him as a model while ignoring all the issues Smith was strongly against or for that do not suite free-market ideology.

Smith would be appalled at current monetary policy, and believed that unions were the only way that labour had a chance in the labour market.
Nov 16, 2016 Samiur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While both volumes exceed 1,000 pages, certainly making it my most voluminous read prior to attending Cambridge, Adam Smith's ideologies and views shaped by his exploration/analysis/musings on the intersections of human psychology, philosophy, and economics,and in particular his views regarding self-interest vs. selflessness -- in my view -- form the cornerstone of his thought-leadership, and what I could personally relate to the most.
Chris Cyr
Mar 01, 2012 Chris Cyr rated it it was amazing
I read this once in high school and remembered thinking that it was the most boring thing ever. Recently a presentation I saw on the book sparked my interest in it again. I picked it up expecting to only read a bit of it, but reference it a lot. What I realized is that it's a really good philosophy book that happens to explain economic theory.
Sandra Simmons
Feb 16, 2013 Sandra Simmons rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults 25+
Shelves: biz-books
The Wealth of Nations is not an easy read, but it is the best, most truthful look at industrial and geopolitical finance, capitalism and free-market functionality ever written.

If you have ever wondered why something that occurs in some far off land can have an economic impact felt round the world, then the answer can be found in this book.

Adam Potter
Oct 12, 2013 Adam Potter rated it liked it
I wanted to read it as it is a classic but the problem i have is it is not relevant to our future. the world is changing and we need another format !
So for reference to why we go boom and bust and thrive on gluttony then yes its the basis of all that is wrong with out bankrupt morally and financially state of nations !
Ben Kearvell
Mar 11, 2014 Ben Kearvell rated it liked it
Political economy says as much about individuals as it does about society, and as much about psychology as it does about money (or what money can purchase). Man makes money. Money makes man. Man creates value and man is subject to values. He knows himself by what he is worth. His identity,then, is a stock in trade, and, conditions permitting, a kind of capital he can build upon.
Nov 16, 2016 Glenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
This audio CD with its voice characterizations transports you back to the 18th century and analyzes Adam Smith's foundational arguments for a capitalist, free market economy. Much shorter than the lengthy, complex tome it analyzes.
Larry Head
Nov 16, 2016 Larry Head rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A massively relevant book to anyone wondering why things are going the way they are economically...and to think it was written by an Englishman in the 1800's...
Wealth of Nations is hard enough to get through without being described by voice actors with very thick accents. Will make no attempt to finish.
Paul Peterson
Oct 31, 2014 Paul Peterson rated it did not like it
Did not finish.

Too old, too stuffy, too irrelevant because nobody cares anymore. Certainly not I. We've all decided on the path of failure
Vlad  Goga
May 22, 2015 Vlad Goga rated it liked it
Smith purposely stated he wrote the book in a really clear manner to express economical concepts with the flaw of becoming boring in his writing. He did not lie here!!
a Japanese reader
Sep 02, 2016 a Japanese reader rated it really liked it
I've finally found the famous "led by an invisible hand."
Mar 01, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
I read this book after undergrad. A pioneer of economics and this book started my passion for the study. Yeah, I'm a nerd.
Josh rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2014
Andrew Steck
Andrew Steck rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2016
Sebastian Sclofsky
Sebastian Sclofsky rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2016
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Although the exact date of Smith's birth is unknown, his baptism was recorded on 16 June 1723 at Kirkcaldy.

A Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nat
More about Adam Smith...

Other Books in the Series

The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (5 books)
  • Correspondence
  • Lectures on Rhetoric & Belles Lettres
  • Lectures on Jurisprudence (Works & Correspondence)
  • Essays on Philosophical Subjects with Dugald Stewart's Account of Adam Smith

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“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages” 83 likes
“The interest of [businessmen] is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ... ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined ... with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men ... who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public” 21 likes
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