On the Wealth of Nations

  • by P.J. O'Rourke
  • Narrated by Michael Prichard
  • 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As one of the first titles in Atlantic Monthly Press' "Books That Changed the World" series, America's most provocative satirist, P.J. O'Rourke, reads from Adam Smith's revolutionary The Wealth of Nations - so you don't have to.Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long. The original edition totaled over 900 pages in two volumes, including the blockbuster 67-page "digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries", which, O'Rourke says, "to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu".
Although daunting, Smith's tome is still essential to understanding such currently hot topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this hilarious, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P.J. puts his trademark wit to good use and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important.


What the Critics Say

"In a highly accessible, often hilarious tone, O'Rourke parses Smith's notions of political and economic freedom." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good, but missing PJ

I've listened to other O'Rourke, some he read, and some (like this) read by others. His humor and points come through with this reader, but his work deserves his voice
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- David 5

On the Wealth of Nations--worth listening to

“On the Wealth of Nations”

As a result of the hype about deregulating everything in the U.S., especially since Reagan, I was interested to learn the origins of this aspect of economics. To read “The Wealth of Nations” is more than I could do. When this review came out, I was tempted to read it, but since becoming diabetic, reading is difficult for me. Getting the book on Audible was great. The presentation is entertaining and packed with interesting, thought provoking interpretations of Adam Smith’s concepts. I had trouble putting it down. After completing the book, I decided after a couple of weeks, a second listen would be a real good idea.

Perhaps this book should be required listening for anyone planning to vote in the U.S. this year. I found it very educational. Adam Smith’s concepts have been grossly simplified and exaggerated to suite the contemporary bias that politician need to get our votes. Mr. Smith’s thinking was far more complex and confused than I would have expected based on modern day accounts.
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- J. Seelye

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio