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Saving Adam Smith: A Tale of Wealth, Transformation, and Virtue (Financial Times)by Jonathan B. Wight
Synopses & Reviews
Adam Smith ... Father of Modern Economics ... Died in 1790 ... but 200 years later, his spirit is tortured by the caricatures we remember in his name. In Saving Adam Smith, he is tortured enough to return to Earth ... and so begins a journey of discovery that cuts across two centuries, as doctoral student Richard Burns puts his life on the line to rediscover Smith's most profound insight: Selfishness is not enough.
A novel of markets and morals.
Adam Smith is back to set the record straight....
If Adam Smith returned to life, would he admire the global capitalist system that honors him or would he be horrified?
"The Wealth of Nations" is Smith's most popular work, but Smith himself revered his "Theory of Moral Sentiments," an unread classic that searches for the wellsprings of human happiness and virtue. There is virtue in markets, yet Adam Smith would have been appalled by a world that holds wealth above human connections, a world of markets unsupported by an underlying moral fabric ... a world like ours.
And so it is in Jonathan Wight's Saving Adam Smith, a wondrous imagining in which Adam Smith stands before us today--generous, incisive, committed, and unflinchingly honest. As Smith was a revelation to his contemporaries, so he is to us: a man whose true message--obscured by centuries of misinformation and caricature--has never been more vital for sustaining business and society.
Adam Smith has come back to life ... and is he upset....
Adam Smith ... You've heard of him. The Father of Modern Economics. Died in 1790 ... but two centuries later, Adam Smith's spirit is tortured by what it sees on Earth. Tortured by the caricatures promoted in his name. Tortured that we've forgotten the morality at the heart of his message on wealth. Tortured enough to return to Earth ... in the body of an immigrant mechanic in Virginia.
Is this madness? At first, doctoral student Richard Burns thinks so. But not for long ....
In "Saving Adam Smith," Jonathan Wight summons Adam Smith back to life, in a heart-pounding adventure ripped straight out of today's headlines. As the suspense builds, Burns rediscovers Adam Smith's most profound insight about markets: Selfishness is simply not enough. But will he--and Adam Smith--survive long enough to share it? "Wight's book is astonishingly good. The storytelling is as good as the business best seller, The Goal, and the economics is better. A few more books like this and economics will no longer be the obscure and dismal science it now seems to the public."--Deirdre McCloskey,
Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, and English,
University of Illinois at Chicago
About the Author
JONATHAN B. WIGHT is Associate Professor of Economics and International Studies in the Robins School of Business, University of Richmond, where he has won Outstanding Teaching and Outstanding Service Awards.
Born in Washington, D.C., he spent his youth in Africa and Latin America. He earned a B.A. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in economics at Vanderbilt University, where he was a Danforth Fellow. His paper, "A Little Adam Smith is a Dangerous Thing," received the 2001 Paxton Award for Outstanding Paper presented by the International Association of Torch Clubs. Other articles on Smith include, "Will the Real Adam Smith Please Stand Up? Teaching Social Economics in the Principles Course," and "The Rise of Adam Smith: Articles and Citations, 1970-97." In other research he co-authored a book on health care financing and numerous articles on international economic development.
Editorial Advisor: Russell Roberts, author of The Choice and The Invisible Heart
Table of Contents
Higher and Deeper.
A Dangerous Business.
Will the Real Adam Smith Please Stand Up?
Self Interest Is Not Selfishness.
On the Road with Adam Smith.
The Poor Man's Son.
The Lady Sings.
Wealth and Happiness.
The Search for Profit.
Feelings Are Real.
Letter to Julia.
Another Gypsy Tale.
A Full House.
Children of the Enlightenment.
The Spectator Within.
A New Paradigm?
Once Again the Invisible Hand
Appeals to Higher Authority.
Timeline of Adam Smith's Life.
PART I: Wealth.
PART II: Transformation.
PART III: Virtue.
A Guide to the Literature.
Adam Smith's Collected Works.
Biographies of Adam Smith.
Selected Scholarship on Adam Smith.
Economics As a “Social,” “Philosophical,” or “Moral” Science.
The New Paradigm Transformation in Business.
A Guide for Instructors.
About the Author.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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