Best Selling Books by Adam Smith

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release date: Mar 04, 2003
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The Wealth of Nations (Bantam Classics)
The Wealth of Nations
by Adam Smith

It is symbolic that Adam Smith’s masterpiece of economic analysis, The Wealth of Nations, was first published in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence.

In his book, Smith fervently extolled the simple yet enlightened notion that individuals are fully capable of setting and regulating prices for their own goods and services. He argued passionately in favor of free trade, yet stood up for the little guy. The Wealth of Nations provided the first--and still the most eloquent--integrated description of the workings of a market economy.

The result of Smith’s efforts is a witty, highly readable work of genius filled with prescient theories that form the basis of a thriving capitalist system. This unabridged edition offers the modern reader a fresh look at a timeless and seminal work that revolutionized the way governments and individuals view the creation and dispersion of wealth--and that continues to influence our economy right up to the present day.
release date: Dec 16, 2014
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The Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations was published 9 March 1776, during the Scottish Enlightenment and the Scottish Agricultural Revolution. It influenced a number of authors and economists, as well as governments and organizations. For example, Alexander Hamilton was influenced in part by The Wealth of Nations to write his Report on Manufactures, in which he argued against many of Smith's policies. Interestingly, Hamilton based much of this report on the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and it was, in part, Colbert's ideas that Smith responded to with The Wealth of Nations. Many other authors were influenced by the book and used it as a starting point in their own work, including 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.
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release date: Jan 25, 1994
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The Wealth of Nations (Modern Library)

First published in 1776, The Wealth of Nations is generally regarded as the foundation of contemporary economic thought. Adam Smith, a Scottish professor of moral philosophy, expounded the then-revolutionary doctrine of economic liberalism. The book’s importance was immediately recognized by Smith’s peers, and later economists have shown an unusual consensus in their admiration for his ideas. 

Combining economics, political theory, history, philosophy, and practical programs, Smith assumes that human self-interest is the basic psychological drive behind economics and that a natural order in the universe makes all the individual, self-interested strivings add up to the social good. His conclusion, that the best program is to leave the economic process alone and that government is useful only as an agent to preserve order and to perform routine functions, is now known as laissez-faire economics or noninterventionism. 

In noting for the first time the significance of the division of labor and by stating the hypothesis that a commodity’s value correlates to its labor input, Smith anticipated the writings of Karl Marx. Like Marx’s Das Capital and Machiavelli’s The Prince, his great book marked the dawning of a new historical epoch. 
 

release date: Jun 22, 2020
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The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith, vol.1)

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith's first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from wrong in any given situation. We by nature pursue our self-interest, according to Smith. This makes independence or self-command an instinctive good and neutral rules as difficult to craft as they are necessary. But society is not held together merely by neutral rules; it is held together by sympathy. Smith argues that we naturally share the emotions and to a certain extent the physical sensations we witness in others. Sharing the sensations of our fellows, we seek to maximize their pleasures and minimize their pains so that we may share in their joys and enjoy their expressions of affection and approval.

release date: Aug 30, 2010
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The Wealth of Nations: The Economics Classic - A selected edition for the contemporary reader
Published in 1778, The Wealth of Nations was the first book on economics to catch the public's attention. It provides a recipe for national prosperity that has not been bettered since, based on small government and the freedom of citizens to act in their best interests. It reassuringly assumes no knowledge of its subject, and over 200 years on still provides valuable lessons on the fundamentals of economics. This deluxe, selected edition is a stylish keepsake from the Capstone Classics series.

This edition includes:

  • An abridged selection of all 5 books for the contemporary reader
  • An original commentary offering new research and analysis by classic literature guru Tom Butler-Bowdon 
  • A biography and chronology of Adam Smith's life and the events surrounding the original publication of the work

Today, The Wealth of Nations is still essential reading for any business or self-development library, reminding us that it is the ingenuity and drive of people, not governments, that remains the source of personal, national and global prosperity.

release date: Jan 04, 2010
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The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness

Leading scientists and science writers reflect on the life-changing, perspective-changing, new science of human goodness.

In these pages you will hear from Steven Pinker, who asks, “Why is there peace?”; Robert Sapolsky, who examines violence among primates; Paul Ekman, who talks with the Dalai Lama about global compassion; Daniel Goleman, who proposes “constructive anger”; and many others. Led by renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner, the Greater Good Science Center, based at the University of California in Berkeley, has been at the forefront of the positive psychology movement, making discoveries about how and why people do good. Four times a year the center publishes its findings with essays on forgiveness, moral inspiration, and everyday ethics in Greater Good magazine. The best of these writings are collected here for the first time.

A collection of personal stories and empirical research, The Compassionate Instinct will make you think not only about what it means to be happy and fulfilled but also about what it means to lead an ethical and compassionate life. 25 illustrations
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was recognized as a landmark of human thought upon its publication in 1776. As the first scientific argument for the principles of political economy, it is the point of departure for all subsequent economic thought. Smith's theories of capital accumulation, growth, and secular change, among others, continue to be influential in modern economics.

This reprint of Edwin Cannan's definitive 1904 edition of The Wealth of Nations includes Cannan's famous introduction, notes, and a full index, as well as a new preface written especially for this edition by the distinguished economist George J. Stigler. Mr. Stigler's preface will be of value for anyone wishing to see the contemporary relevance of Adam Smith's thought.
release date: Aug 01, 2014
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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
"Some things are so huge or so old that it's hard to wrap your mind around them. But what if we took these big, hard-to-imagine objects and events and compared them to things we can see, feel and touch? Instantly, we'd see our world in a whole new way." So begins this endlessly intriguing guide to better understanding all those really big ideas and numbers children come across on a regular basis. Author David J. Smith has found clever devices to scale down everything from time lines (the history of Earth compressed into one year), to quantities (all the wealth in the world divided into one hundred coins), to size differences (the planets shown as different types of balls). Accompanying each description is a kid-friendly drawing by illustrator Steve Adams that visually reinforces the concept. By simply reducing everything to human scale, Smith has made the incomprehensible easier to grasp, and therefore more meaningful. The children who just love these kinds of fact-filled, knock-your-socks-off books will want to read this one from cover to cover. It will find the most use, however, as an excellent classroom reference that can be reached for again and again when studying scale and measurement in math, and also for any number of applications in social studies, science and language arts. For those who want to delve a little deeper, Smith has included six suggestions for classroom projects. There is also a full page of resource information at the back of the book.
release date: Nov 22, 2016
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The Theory of Moral Sentiments
In his first major work, economist Adam Smith concentrates on ethics and charity. The Theory of Moral Sentiments divides moral philosophy into four parts: Ethics and Virtue; Private rights and Natural liberty; Familial rights (called Economics); and State and Individual rights (called Politics). Smith establishes the intellectual framework for all of his later work, including The Wealth of Nations.
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release date: Mar 25, 1982
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The Wealth of Nations: Books 1-3 (Penguin Classics) (Bks.1-3)

The classic economic treatise that insipired Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century

The publication of The Wealth of Nations in 1776 coincided with America's Declaration of Independence, and with this landmark treatise on political economy, Adam Smith paved the way for modern capitalism, arguing that a truly free market - fired by competition yet guided as if by an 'invisible hand' to ensure justice and equality - was the engine of a fair and productive society. Books I - III of The Wealth of Nations examine the 'division of labour' as the key to economic growth, by ensuring the interdependence of individuals within society. They also cover the origins of money and the importance of wages, profit, rent and stocks, but the real sophistication of his analysis derives from the fact that it encompasses a combination of ethics, philosophy and history to create a vast panorama of society.

This edition contains an analytical introduction offering an in-depth discussion of Smith as an economist and social scientist, as well as a preface, further reading and explanatory notes by Andrew Skinner.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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