The Wealth of Nations

Ranked #3 in Liberalism, Ranked #3 in Macroeconomicssee more rankings.

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. less

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Wealth of Nations from the world's leading experts.

Barack Obama Former USA PresidentObama, unsurprisingly, appears to be more drawn to stories sympathetic to the working classes than is McCain. Obama cites John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle,” about a labor dispute; Robert Caro’s “Power Broker,” about Robert Moses; and Studs Terkel’s “Working.” But he also includes Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and “Theory of Moral Sentiments” on his list. (Source)

Elon Musk Founder/SpaceXAdam Smith FTW obv. (Source)

Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist, Author & Science CommunicatorWhich books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet? [...] The Wealth of Nations (Smith) [to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself]. If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world. (Source)

William St Clair It’s a long book and it covers many things. But it’s particularly important for the history of reading. (Source)

William Hopper Many people know Smith’s arguments in favour of free markets but how many people know his thoughts about the failings of market economics? In the book he argues things like: ‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public…’ (Source)

Stephen D King What is amazing about Smith is that he tried to relate economics to morals and ethics, in the sense that economics is only a small part of what society should be thinking about. (Source)

Niall Ferguson If you read it closely it’s not a naive apology for unregulated markets, but he’s quite keenly aware of the problems of financial regulation. (Source)

Pranab Bardhan At the time Adam Smith was writing Britain was a developing economy. (Source)

David Heinemeier Hansson It’s hard to believe that Adam Smith wrote this tome in 1776! It’s written in such plain, if repetitive, language that it makes the basic economic theory easily accessible. That doesn’t mean it’s right. The book on Debt: The First 5,000 Years spent a fair chunk of time debunking many of Smith’s accounts of “the barter, truck, and exchange” cultures that supposedly were the rude state of man before the introduction of coinage. But the book is all the better from a read with a critical mind. It presents such a basic, plain description of capitalism and its functions that serves as a proper... (Source)

Roy Sebag @CSir2017 @Goldmoney Dear Christopher, I strongly recommend you brush up on some economic history. The first book I implore you to read is called "The Wealth of Nations". In the book, a system of cooperation is described in great detail (capitalism) where the money being employed is Gold and Silver. (Source)

Brandon Stanton [Brandon Stanton recommended this book on the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show".] (Source)

Dennis Rasmussen The Wealth of Nations is, of course, one of the most famous, though certainly not most read or understood, books of all time. It was first published in 1776. In fact, I was once asked on an exam in high school ‘Who invented capitalism in 1776?’ (Source)

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