By Adam Smith

cover the wealth of nations

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 Adam Smith. 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. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labor, productivity, and free markets."


(see table of contents of The Wealth of Nations)

Excerpt:

Download condensed version of the book published by the Adam Smith Institute (UK free market think thank)

Reviews:Allan Sloan on The New York Times wrote:

"I’ve been a business writer since 1969, I specialize in unearthing journalistic nuggets buried in lengthy financial documents that even lawyers find dull — and I’ve never been able to get more than 50 pages into Adam Smith. [...] But over the years, I’ve read introductions to the book and commentaries about it, listened to discussions of its principles and have even cited some of its points in my own articles. As with the Bible or “Moby-Dick,” you don’t have to be familiar with the entire work in order to grasp its essence."

Robert McCrum on The Guardian wrote:

"Although it provided a comprehensive and magisterial treatment of its subject, it was also a work of robust common sense, intelligible to any careful reader, braiding history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology in a compelling tapestry of theory and experience. Smith, writes one commentator, was concerned to improve 'the human condition in practical ways for real people'."


Background on the Author & His Work

Overview of books on the work of Adam Smith

Books about The Wealth of Nations

Modern Editions of The Wealth of Nations

Table of Contents


The links in the chapters below go to corresponding videos in an online course from Marginal Revolution University (MRU). The course is being taught by George Mason University economics professors Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, founders of MRU.


BOOK 1: INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND INCOMES

BOOK 2: CAPITAL – ITS NATURE, ACCUMULATION AND USES

BOOK 3: NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCES

BOOK 4: POLITICAL-ECONOMIC THEORIES AND POLICIES

BOOK 5: GOVERNMENT FINANCES – PUBLIC EXPENDITURE, TAXATION AND BORROWING

Also available in: Dutch