Wealth of Nations

  • by Adam Smith
  • Narrated by Michael Edwards
  • 35 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Peter

The footnotes ruined it.

Smith's book is of a piece. This audio book is impossible to follow, because the narrator reads the scholarly apparatus right in the stream of the book. So you'll have a paragraph of Smith, and then two paragraphs of footnotes from the editor, then Smith for a couple paragraphs, then another footnote... it makes it impossible to follow the development of Smith's argument. Audible seriously needs to get another version of this book.
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- David Stewart "dsjl"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-05-1999
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.