SMITH, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. With a Life of the Author. Also, a view of the Doctrine of Smith, compared with that of the French Economists; with a method of facilitating the study of his works; from the French of M. Garnier.


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Three volumes. London: Printed for J. Maynard, Haymarket; and F. Zinke, 448, Strand, 1811. Octavo. pp. (1) lxxi, [1], 360, (2) vi, 514, (3) v, [1], 448, [50 (extensive index)]. Recent half morocco on marbled boards. Occasional mild foxing. A very clean, crisp and fresh set. Rare.
COPAC locates 8 copies. WorldCat 1.
Adam Smith’s ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’, generally referred to by its shortened title ‘The Wealth of Nations’, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher. It was first published in 1776, the book offers one of the world’s first collected descriptions of what builds nations’ wealth and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. Through reflection over the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity and free markets.
Many other authors were influenced by the book and used it as a starting point in their own work, including Alexandra Hamilton, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and, later, Ludwig von Mises. The Russian national poet Aleksandr Pushkin refers to ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in his 1833 verse-novel Eugene Onegin. Irrespective of historical influence, ‘The Wealth of Nations’ represented a clear shift in the field of economics, similar to Sir Isaac Newton’s ‘Principia Mathematica’ for physics, Antoine Lavoisier’s ‘Traité Élémentaire de Chimie’ for chemistry, or Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ for biology.
There were five editions during the author’s lifetime. This printing now with an Account of the Life of the Author which has been specially drawn up for the first time, as well as studies on the author and the French economists of the period, and a method of facilitating the study of the work.

[TVR 9B]


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