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The Essential Adam Smith

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The sheer strength of his great work, The Wealth of Nations, discourages many from attempting to explore its rich and lucid arguments. In this brilliantly crafted volume, one of the most eminent economists of our day provides a generous selection from the entire body of Smith's work, ranging from his fascinating psychological observations on human nature to his famous trea ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 17th 1987 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1986)
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Dec 09, 2010 Guy rated it liked it
I think that this is a somewhat reasonable attempt at summarizing Smith, but must be read with caution . The summary is biased towards what supports the current 'corporatist' economic ideology, and overly censors Smith to support that and Friedman's Chicago School of Economcs economics. For example, I have read Smith's The Wealth of Nations and in it he gives high praise to trade unions as something which are an example of the market place finding the correct wage, and as the only reasonable wa ...more
Eric Foster
Oct 24, 2011 Eric Foster rated it liked it
The most valuable thing that this book achieves is the ability to quote Smith, as opposed to giving the typical nod to him as the father of capitalism. While aspects of Smith's view of market forces are now a little obsolete with new, modern layers that he couldn't have possibly foreseen, this collection of abbreviated works gives a robust look into his writings and influences. The most useful section of the book is the selection of aphorisms that are often quoted (or misquoted) by armchair econ ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great compilation of some of Smith's lesser writings along with Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations (abridged). I ended up not disagreeing with Wealth of Nations as much as I expected. The idea of the "invisible hand" actually makes a lot of sense, though I attribute it to evolution rather than a sentient supreme being.
Nov 14, 2008 Tyler rated it it was ok
A good collection of his works. The selections and organization of the book, along with some pretty decent commentary, paint a different and more complete picture of Adam Smith than what you will read in your introduction level Economics textbooks.
Max Bronsema
May 20, 2009 Max Bronsema rated it liked it
A required textbook for a history class of mine, reading Moral Sentiments has been very enlightening. The style is long prose but readable. It is kind of fun to read out loud.
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Oct 31, 2013 Todd Maxwell marked it as to-read
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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
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