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Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why it Matters

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  9 reviews
'A superb book' Financial Times, Books of the Year

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as 'the father of modern economics' and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and the freedom of the individual? Or a prime mover of 'market
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 5th 2018 by Allen Lane
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Laura Spira
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Journalists, commentators and even academics are prone to quoting the best soundbites from The Wealth of Nations in ways that show that they haven't read the original work. The temptation is great because Smith appears to have been uncannily prescient and some of his critique seems directly pertinent to the modern economic environment. But there is much more to Smith's work than those choice morsels. In this book Jesse Norman gives a brief biography of Smith - necessarily brief as little is ...more
A Reader
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adam Smith is the most influential political economist ever lived and without much doubt one of the most influential social scientists of any kind. According to Jesse Norman, a British politician and one of the few conservative thinkers today in Britain, Smith is not only the father of economics but also the father of social psychology. He urges us to think about Adam Smith not only as an economist but also as a moral philosopher. In his eloquent book Adam Smith: What he thought and why it ...more
Jeff Kaye
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bringing Adam Smith, the founder of political economics, and his writing to life, over two hundred years after his death, is a mammoth task but one that Jesse Norman has accomplished with grace, in-depth understanding and a strong attempt to reconcile Smithian thoughts to modern-day circumstances.

Although the book begins with a story of his life, the main focus is on how his two, prime books - The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments - have to be seen as two sides of the same
Maria Petrenko
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good insight into Adam Smith's life and philosophy! I learnt many things about this talented and intelligent person, and I was really surprised that he was in fact humanist and eligalitarian. I really changed my mind about Adam Smith’s personality, whom previously I considered as a greedy father of capitalism. His ideas can be applicable to modern society challenges, and now I can be proud that I studied at the University of Glasgow Business School named after Adam Smith.
Though it can be a
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent - a fascinating exploration of Adam Smith's works, his background and philosophy. It did take me two weeks as the language is on the academic side, so I often had to re-read sentences to make sure I understood, but ultimately it is very accessible. Jesse Norman is great at providing context, meaning we also gain insight into the 'why it matters'.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: filosofie
Brings Adam Smith back to its real meaning as opposed to the image portrayed of him by the ultra rigth politics. Economy can never be neutral and separate from its enveloping society, and cannot operate without a proper government.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on Adam smith and his life, ideas and also its relevance in modern world economy by Jesse Norman.
David Walsh
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adam Smith (1723-1790) has been widely recognized as the father of economics. The passage of time has clearly diminished the potential of everything that his work could offer us, as we evaluate our current economic system.

Jesse Norman does an excellent job in fleshing out the totality of Smith's life experience and moral philosophy that influenced his ideas and writings. Norman does this in a concise way and gives us a perspective of what Adam Smith's critique would be of our current cultural
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Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, the most influential British conservative think tank based in London. He is widely regarded as one of the architects of New Conservatism, a political philosophy that stresses using traditionally conservative techniques and concepts in order to improve the general welfare of society.

Norman was educated at