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Publisher's Summary

This classic statement of economic liberalism or the policy of laissez-faire was first published in 1776. It is an engrossing analysis of the economic facts of life. Several fundamental principles, many of which are now referred to as axioms, were introduced in this work, the division of labor, supply-and-demand, and free market capitalism being among the most obvious. Smith's political economy is primarily individualistic; self-interest is the incentive for economic action. However, he shows that universal pursuit of self-interest contributes to the public interest.
(P)1989 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

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By Peter on 09-21-04

Worth the effort

This is a massive undertaking for any listener, but ultimately worth the effort. The recording is not the best, with some occasional disconcerting popping, which made me think stones were hitting my windshield as I drove. Edwards's plodding reading takes some getting used to, but it ultimately works, allowing the listener to unravel some of Smith's winding thought. This is not for everyone, but if you can get inside Smith's detailed descriptions of late 18th-century economics, you'll appreciate his analytic mind -- and you might even imagine him a prophet of the emerging capitalist system. Of course, capitalists never tire of claiming Smith as one of their own, usually with only a familiarity of Smith's image of the invisible hand, but there is much more here, especially in Smith's criticisms of the excesses of the "masters." Smith may still be construed as an apologist for our present capitalist system, but his thought much more compex than that, and a must-read/listen for anyone wanting to tackle David Ricardo or understand Marx. A printed copy of the work is handy when the spoken argument bogs down, but even with a more than occasional use of the reverse button when I drifted, I was surprised how easily I got into the rhythm of this work.

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40 of 41 people found this review helpful


By Lisa on 02-13-07

Poor audio quality

I would love to be able to listen to this book in a better quality audio. It really needs to be rerecorded. The quality is so poor it's hard to listen to and I have not been able to get through it.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By David on 12-02-09

Shocking Sound Quality

Massively disappointed with the sound quality of this recording, to the point where this is impossible to listen to.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Stuart on 12-27-09

Really poor sound quality

This is really hard work to listen to, but not because of the content. The sound quality on this was so poor, I had to give up after the first chapter. It sounds like it was recorded on a dictaphone in the mid-80s and the oxide on the tape has started to go.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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