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The Wealth of Nations

With an introduction by Jonathan B. Wight, University of Richmond

By Adam Smith

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and pioneering political economist and one of the key figures of the intellectual movement known as the Scottish Enlightenment.

He is now depicted on the back of the brand new £20 note.

Contents Listing

Editor's Introduction by Johnathan B.Wight, University of Richmond
Notes on the Text
Introduction and Plan of the Work
Notable Quotes from The Wealth of Nations

Contents to The Wealth of Nations

Book I
Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive Powers of Labour, and of the order according to which its Produce is naturally distributed among the different Ranks of the people.

CHAPTER I
Of the Division of Labour

CHAPTER II
Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour

CHAPTER III
That the Division of labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market

CHAPTER IV
Of the Origin and Use of Money

CHAPTER V
Of the Real and Nominal Price of Commodities, or of their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money

CHAPTER VI
Of the Component parts of the Price of Commodities

CHAPTER VII
Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities

CHAPTER VIII
Of the Wages of Labour

CHAPTER IX
Of the Profits of Stock

CHAPTER X
Of Wages and Profit in the Different Employments of Labour and Stock

PART I. Inequalities arising from the nature of the employments themselves
PART II Inequalities occasioned by the Policy of Europe

CHAPTER XI
Of the Rent of Land

PART I. Of the Produce of Land which always affords Rent
PART II. Of the Produce of Land, which sometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford Rent
PART III. Of the variations in the Proportion between the respective Values of that sort of Produce which always affords Rent, and of that which sometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford Rent
Digression concerning the Variations in the value of Silver during the Course of the Four last Centuries

FIRST PERIOD
SECOND PERIOD
THIRD PERIOD
Variations in the Proportion between the respective Values of Gold and Silver Grounds of the suspicion that the Value of Silver still continues to decrease Different Effects of the Progress of Improvement upon three different sorts of rude Produce

First Sort
Second sort
Third Sort

Conclusion of the Digression concerning the Variations in the Value of Silver Effects of the Progress of Improvement upon the real Price of Manufactures

CONCLUSION of the CHAPTER
PRICES OF WHEAT

Book II
Of the Nature, Accululation, and Employment of Stock

CHAPTER I
Of the Division of Stock

CHAPTER II
Of Money, Considered as a Particular Branch of theGeneral Stock of the Society, or of the Expense of Maintaining the National Capital

CHAPTER III
Of the Accumulation of Capital, or of Productive and Unproductive Labour

CHAPTER IV
Of Stock Lent at Interest

CHAPTER V
Of the Different Employment of Capitals

Book III
Of the Different Progress of Opulence in Different Nations

CHAPTER I
Of the Natural Progress of Opulence

CHAPTER II
Of the Discouragement of Agriculture in the Ancient State of Europe, after the Fall of the Roman Empire

CHAPTER III
Of the Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire

CHAPTER IV
How the Commerce of the Towns Contributed to the Improvement of the country

Book IV
Of Systems of Political Economy
Introduction

CHAPTER I
Of the Principle of the Commercial or Mercantile System

CHAPTER II
Of Restraints upon the Importation from Foreign Countries of such Goods can be produced at Home

CHAPTER III
Of the extraordinary Restraints upon the Importation of Goods of almost all Kinds, from those Countries with which the Balance is supposed to be Disadvantageous

PART I. Of the Unreasonableness of those Restraints, even upon the Principles of the Commercial System
Digression concerning Banks of Deposit, particularly concerning that of Amsterdam
PART II. Of the Unreasonableness of those extraordinary Restraints, upon other Principles

CHAPTER IV
Of Drawbacks

CHAPTER V
Of Bounties
Digression concerning the Corn Trade and Corn Laws

CHAPTER VI
Of Treaties of Commerce

PART I
PART II
PART III

CHAPTER VII
Of Colonies

PART I. Of the Motives for Establishing New Colonies
PART II. Causes of the Prosperity of New Colonies
PART III. Of the Advantages which Europe has derived From the Discovery of America, and from that of a Passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope

CHAPTER VIII
Conclusion of the Mercantile System

CHAPTER IX
Of the Agricultural Systems, or of those Systems of Political Economy which Represent the Produce of Land, as either the Sole or the Principle Source of the Revenue and Wealth of Every Country

Appendix to Book IV

Book V
Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

CHAPTER I
Of the Expenses of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

PART I. Of the Expense of Defence
PART II. Of the Expense of Justice
PART III. Of the Expense of public Works and public Institutions

ARTICLE I. Of the public Works and Institutions for facilitating the Commerce of the Society, And, first, of those which are necessary for facilitating Commerce in general
Of the public Works and Institution which are necessary for facilitating particular Branches of Commerce
ARTICLE II. Of the Expense of the Institution for the Education of Youth
ARTICLE III. Of the Expense of the Institutions for the Instruction of People of all Ages

PART IV. Of the Expense of supporting the Dignity of the Sovereign
CONCLUSION

CHAPTER II
Of the Sources of the General or Public Revenue of the Society

PART I. Of the Funds, or Sources, of Revenue, which may peculiarly belong to the Sovereign or Commonwealth
PART II. Of Taxes

ARTICLE I. Taxes upon Rent - Taxes upon the Rent of Land Taxes which are proportioned, not in the Rent, but to the Produce of Land Taxes upon the Rent of Houses
ARTICLE II. Taxes upon Profit, or upon the Revenue arising from Stock Taxes upon the Profit of particular Employments

APPENDIX TO ARTICLES I AND II - Taxes upon the Capital Value of Lands, Houses, and Stock

ARTICLE III. Taxes upon the Wages of Labour
ARTICLE IV. Taxes which it is intended should fall indifferently upon every different Species of Revenue
Capitation Taxes
Taxes upon Consumable Commodities
Consumable commodities are either necessaries or luxuries

CHAPTER III
Of Public Debts

INDEX
Editor's Introduction by Johnathan B.Wight, University of Richmond
Notes on the Text
Introduction and Plan of the Work
Notable Quotes from The Wealth of Nations

Contents to The Wealth of Nations

Book I
Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive Powers of Labour, and of the order according to which its Produce is naturally distributed among the different Ranks of the people.

CHAPTE ...

Jacket Text

The Wealth of Nations is a treasured classic of political economy. First published in March of 1776, Adam Smith wrote the book to influence a special audience - the British Parliament - and its arguments in the early spring of that year pressed for peace and cooperation with Britain's colonies rather than war.

Smith's message was that economic exploitation, through the monopoly trade of empire, stifled wealth-creation in both home and foreign lands. Moreover, protectionism preserved the status quo, and privileged a few elites at the expense of long run growth.

Smith wrote, "It is the industry which is carried on for the benefit of the rich and the powerful that is principally encouraged by our mercantile system. That which is carried on for the benefit of the poor and the indigent is too often either neglected or oppressed."

This edition, based on the classic Cannan version of the text, includes a foreword by George Osborne MP and an introduction by Jonathan B. Wight, University of Richmond, which aims to place the work in a business context. Wight also provides an invaluable 'Notable Quotes' section where he extracts and categorises some of the most famous and pertinent sections of Smith's work.

This classic work is as essential today as it was when it first written.

Professional Reviews

"Adam Smith was the first to see that the measure of a nation's wealth was not money, but the industry and enterprise of its people. That a thriving and growing economy could lift whole nations out of poverty. And that the keys to economic growth were incentives, free enterprise, and productivity. That makes The Wealth of Nations just as relevant today as when it was written. So I am delighted to see this handsome new edition.

For years I have looked around for a really nice hardback edition of The Wealth of Nations without finding one. But this new edition is splendid, the sort of thing I am pleased to have on my shelf, and which would make a fine gift too.

An enormously useful feature of this edition is the selection of famous quotes at the beginning. Smith's insightful epigrams such as "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest" and his famous remarks on the "invisible hand" can be hard to find in the original, but here they all are, laid out easily and accessibly. There is also a brief guide which explains to the reader what Smith was trying to do in each section of the work, which makes reading it much easier." - Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute

"Adam Smith was the first to see that the measure of a nation's wealth was not money, but the industry and enterprise of its people. That a thriving and growing economy could lift whole nations out of poverty. And that the keys to economic growth were incentives, free enterprise, and productivity. That makes The Wealth of Nations just as relevant today as when it was written. So I am delighted to see this handsome new edition.

For years I have looked around for a really nice hardback edition of The Wealth of Nations without finding one. But this new edition is splendid, the sort of thing I am pleased to have on my shelf, and which would make a fine gift too.

An enormously useful feature of this edition is the selection of famous quotes at the beginning. Smith's insightful epigrams such as "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest" and his famous remarks on the "invisible hand" can be hard to find in the original, but here they all are, laid out easily and accessibly. There is also a brief guide which explains to the reader what Smith was trying to do in each section of the work, which makes reading it much easier." - Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute


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Media Coverage

Guardian Unlimited

"This week, the Backbencher has a copy of the new 656-page edition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations to give away to a lucky reader, courtesy of Harriman House. The foreword is by George Osborne. ...

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Tatler

"A history gradiate from Oxford, (George) Osborne enjoys intellectual pursuits. He wrote the foreword for the latest edition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations."

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The Sunday Times

"George Osborne recently wrote an introduction to a new edition of the book..."

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BBC Radio Scotland

Reference to the book during a special programme on Adam Smith.

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Guardian Unlimited

"Much to the delight of the free-market right, there's a spanking new edition of the Wealth of Nations in the shops. George Osborne has penned the foreword and says Adam Smith's masterpiece is as ...

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Director.co.uk

Book review- Director magazineFebruary 2008

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Politics.guardian.co.uk

Roots manoeuvreBackbencherThe Guardian, 6th February 2008

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Ft.com

[one of the] all time greatsWealth of Nations is on the Financial Times list of the best business books of all time, 25th September 2007

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Business.guardian.co.uk

a spanking new editionLarry Elliott, Economics EditorThe Guardian, 9th July 2007

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Media Review

this new edition is splendid, the sort of thing I am pleased to have on my shelf, and which would make a fine gift too.Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute20th June 2007

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