Adam Smith: Father of Economics

Adam Smith: Father of Economics

by Jesse Norman

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A dazzlingly original, "remarkable" account of the life and thought of legendary economist Adam Smith (Financial Times).

Adam Smith (1723-1790) is now widely regarded as the greatest economist of all time. But what he really thought, and the implications of his ideas, remain fiercely contested. Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and individual freedom? A prime mover of "market fundamentalism"? An apologist for human selfishness? Or something else entirely?

In the tradition of The Worldly Philosophers, Adam Smith dispels the myths and caricatures, and provides a far more complex portrait of the man. Offering a highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, political philosopher Jesse Norman explores his work as a whole and traces his influence over two centuries to the present day. Finally, he shows how a proper understanding of Smith can help us address the problems of modern capitalism. The Smith who emerges from this book is not only the greatest of all economists but a pioneering theorist of moral philosophy, culture, and society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465093212
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 611,694
File size: 31 MB
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About the Author

Jesse Norman, MP, studied at Oxford University and took his master's and doctorate in philosophy from University College London. He has been an honorary fellow at UCL, a governor of the UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. His previous books include the widely acclaimed Edmund Burke: The First Conservative.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Introduction ix

Part 1 Life

Chapter 1 Kirkcaldy Boy, 1723-1746 3

Chapter 2 'The Most Useful, Happiest and Most Honourable Period of my Life', 1746-1759 30

Chapter 3 Enlightened Interlude, 1760-1773 68

Chapter 4 'You are Surely to Reign Alone on These Subjects', 1773-1776 96

Chapter 5 Working to the End, 1776-1790 126

Part 2 Thought

Chapter 6 Reputation, Fact and Myth 159

Chapter 7 Smith's Economics 193

Chapter 8 Adam Smith and Markets 224

Part 3 Impact

Chapter 9 Capitalism and its Discontents 257

Chapter 10 The Moral Basis of Commercial Society 288

Conclusion: Why it Matters 320

Acknowledgements 337

Notes 341

Bibliography 379

Index 393

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