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The Invisible Hand

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  197 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Adam Smith’s landmark treatise on the free market paved the way for modern capitalism, arguing that competition is the engine of a productive society, and that self-interest will eventually come to enrich the whole community, as if by an ‘invisible hand’.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 7th 2008 by Penguin (first published 1759)
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Mar 23, 2009 Jono rated it liked it
Great to get some of the original thinking behind the Invisible Hand rather than the soundbyte. The book actually examines a lot of different fundamental notions of economics. Adam Smith's fundamental point is that it is rarely, if ever, in the interest of a country to provide restrictions to trade. An unconstrained free market is a better way to run things.

In the process he usefully examines the concept of wealth, value, productivity, the divison of labor, taxes and agriculture. I found myself
Oct 01, 2011 Connor rated it really liked it
It was harder than I expected to get through this book, due to a combination of reasons. First and foremost was the language in which the book was written. Being more than two hundred years old, it was written in an antiquated style which I found a little too tedious.

Still, the content of the book was really interesting. I didn't realize that The Invisible Hand was an excerpt of The Wealth of Nations, so no I am obliged to read that as well. Reading Adam Smith makes me interested in taking macr
Steve Mitchell
A bit of a struggle, because economics always affects me the same way as mogadon, but this is a good treatise on the subject (if you can stay awake).
Anthony Weston
Mar 19, 2013 Anthony Weston rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and insightful little book.
Eduardo Rincón
Sin duda que es un libro muy interesante, habla de lo sano de dejar que el mercado trabaje por su cuenta, teniendo en consideración que el comercio exterior trae muchos beneficios en cuanto cada ente trabajo por su propio interés. Por ultimo hay que exaltar que lo más importante es proteger a tu mercado interno como país.
Phil Toop
Dec 26, 2015 Phil Toop rated it did not like it
Shelves: finance, philosophy
A very disappointing book, caused by the publisher (Penguin) extracting 127 pages out of over 1,000 pages of material in Adam Smith's 5 books of The Wealth of Nations. What's more, this edition gives no introduction or explanation of the fact that this book is merely a series of extracts from the source books. I will look forward to reading the full books of The Wealth of Nations.
Felipe Costa
Jul 28, 2016 Felipe Costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adam Smith não é o oposto de Marx, ainda acredita no valor-trabalho, porém mostra uma clara crença nos poderes do livre mercado, da mão invisível. Muito bom.
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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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“This self-deceit, this fatal weakness of mankind, is the source of half the disorders of human life. If we saw ourselves in the light in which others see us, or in which they would see us if they knew all, a reformation would generally be unavoidable. We could not otherwise endure the sight. Nature, however, has not left this weakness, which is of so much importance, altogether without a remedy; nor has she abandoned us entirely to the delusions of self-love. Our continual observations upon the conduct of others, insensibly lead us to form to ourselves certain general rules concerning what is fit and proper either to be done or to be avoided. Some of their actions shock all our natural sentiments. We hear every body about us express the like detestation against them. This still further confirms, and even exasperates our natural sense of their deformity. It satisfies us that we view them in the proper light, when we see other people view them in the same light. We resolve never to be guilty of the like, nor ever, upon any account, to render ourselves in this manner the objects of universal disapprobation. We thus naturally lay down to ourselves a general rule, that all such actions are to be avoided, as tending to render us odious, contemptible, or punishable, the objects of all those sentiments for which we have the greatest dread and aversion. Other actions, on the contrary, call forth our approbation, and we hear every body around us express the same favourable opinion concerning them. Every body is eager to honour and reward them. They excite all those sentiments for which we have by nature the strongest desire; the love, the gratitude, the admiration of mankind. We become ambitious of performing the like; and thus naturally lay down to ourselves a rule of another kind, that every opportunity of acting in this manner is carefully to be sought after. It is thus that the general rules of morality are formed. They are ultimately founded upon experience of what, in particular instances, our moral faculties, our natural sense of merit and propriety, approve, or disapprove of. We do not originally approve or condemn particular actions; because, upon examination, they appear to be agreeable or inconsistent with a certain general rule. The general rule, on the contrary, is formed, by finding from experience, that all actions of a certain kind, or circumstanced in a certain manner, are approved or disapproved of.” 0 likes
“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 interest” 0 likes
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