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On the Wealth of Nations (Books That Changed the World)

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On the Wealth of Nations (Books That Changed the World) Cover

ISBN13: 9780871139498
ISBN10: 0871139499
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was first published in 1776 and almost instantly it was recognized as the fundamental work of economics, as important to the development of this field as Darwin's The Origin of Species would be for natural history eighty years later. The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as being really long; the original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes. And as P. J. O'Rourke points out, to understand The Wealth of Nations, you also need to read Smith's first doorstopper, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

But now you don't have to read either. That's because P.J. has waded through all of Smith's dense work, including Wealth's sixty-seven-page digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the four last centuries, which, says O'Rourke, to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu. In this hilarious and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, which even intellectuals should have no trouble comprehending, 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.

Review:

"The famous satirist headlines a new series of Books That Changed the World, in which well-known authors read great books 'so you don't have to.' While irreverently dissecting Adam Smith's 18th-century antimercantilist classic, The Wealth of Nations, O'Rourke continues the dogged advocacy of free-market economics of his own books, such as Eat the Rich. His analysis renders Smith's opus more accessible, while providing the perfect launching pad for O'Rourke's opinions on contemporary subjects like the World Bank, defense spending and Bill Moyers's intelligence (or lack thereof, according to O'Rourke). Readers only vaguely familiar with Smith's tenets may be surprised to learn how little he continues to be understood today. As O'Rourke observes, 'there are many theories in [The Wealth of Nations], but no theoretical system that Smith wanted to put in place, except the obvious and simple system of natural liberty [that] establishes itself of its own accord.' Libertarian that he is, O'Rourke would probably agree that one shouldn't take only his word on Smith. Still, the book reads like a witty 'Cliffs Notes,' with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The famous satirist headlines a new series of Books That Changed the World,' in which well-known authors read great books 'so you don't have to.' While irreverently dissecting Adam Smith's 18th-century antimercantilist classic, The Wealth of Nations, O'Rourke continues the dogged advocacy of free-market economics of his own books, such as Eat the Rich. His analysis renders Smith's opus more accessible, while providing the perfect launching pad for O'Rourke's opinions on contemporary subjects like the World Bank, defense spending and Bill Moyers's intelligence (or lack thereof, according to O'Rourke). Readers only vaguely familiar with Smith's tenets may be surprised to learn how little he continues to be understood today. As O'Rourke observes, 'there are many theories in [The Wealth of Nations], but no theoretical system that Smith wanted to put in place, except 'the obvious and simple system of natural liberty [that] establishes itself of its own accord.' Libertarian that he is, O'Rourke would probably agree that one shouldn't take only his word on Smith. Still, the book reads like a witty Cliffs Notes, with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Back in 1776, a subject of the British Empire published a remarkably durable statement about the desires and striving of mankind and the deep human yearning for freedom. This document, whose verities echo and resonate throughout the generations, is regarded with something close to adoration.

Oh, and the Declaration of Independence was published that year, too.

'An Inquiry... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"An entertaining alternative to the heavy lifting required in confronting Adam Smith firsthand." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In a highly accessible, often hilarious tone, O'Rourke parses Smith's notions of political and economic freedom. Readers well versed and not so well versed in economic theory will enjoy this delightful look at Smith's famous and famously dense work." Booklist

Synopsis:

As one of the first titles in Atlantic Monthly Press “Books That Changed the World” series, Americas most provocative satirist, P. J. ORourke, reads Adam Smiths revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you dont 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 nine hundred pages in two volumes—including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page “digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries,” which, “to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.” Although daunting, Smiths tome is still essential to understanding such current 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.

Synopsis:

First published in 1776, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" was instantly recognized as the fundamental work of economics. In this hilarious and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, OURourke shows why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary.

Synopsis:

Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was first published in 1776, and was recognised as the fundamental work of economics. The Wealth of Nations was also recognised as being really long. And as P.J. O'Rourke points out, to understand The Wealth of Nations, you also need to read Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. But now you don't have to read either. That's because P.J. has waded through Smith's dense work, including Wealth's 67-page "digression concerning the Variations in the value of Silver during the Course of the Four last Centuries." In this hilarious examination, 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.

About the Author

P. J. O'Rourke is the bestselling author of ten books, including The CEO of the Sofa, Eat the Rich, Parliament of Whores, and All the Trouble in the World.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Paul McFarland, July 23, 2007 (view all comments by Paul McFarland)
This book is subtitled P.J. O?Rourke reads Wealth of Nations so you don?t have to. I truly wish I had had access to this volume before I read Wealth of Nations. I think I would have come away with a better grasp of Smith?s points and spent a whole lot less time doing it. I would have had, by the way, a far better time reading. This is a funny book as are all of O?Rourke?s works. I do not share all of his political views but the man can write well and with humor. He presents an evenhanded synopsis of Smith?s work and has a wonderful time doing it. You should join him.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780871139498
Author:
Orourke, P J
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Manufactured:
Atlantic Monthly
Author:
O'Rourke, P. J.
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Economics - Theory
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Form - Essays
Subject:
Government & Business
Subject:
Smith, Adam
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Books That Changed the World
Publication Date:
20061204
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Narrative
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists

On the Wealth of Nations (Books That Changed the World) Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871139498 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The famous satirist headlines a new series of Books That Changed the World, in which well-known authors read great books 'so you don't have to.' While irreverently dissecting Adam Smith's 18th-century antimercantilist classic, The Wealth of Nations, O'Rourke continues the dogged advocacy of free-market economics of his own books, such as Eat the Rich. His analysis renders Smith's opus more accessible, while providing the perfect launching pad for O'Rourke's opinions on contemporary subjects like the World Bank, defense spending and Bill Moyers's intelligence (or lack thereof, according to O'Rourke). Readers only vaguely familiar with Smith's tenets may be surprised to learn how little he continues to be understood today. As O'Rourke observes, 'there are many theories in [The Wealth of Nations], but no theoretical system that Smith wanted to put in place, except the obvious and simple system of natural liberty [that] establishes itself of its own accord.' Libertarian that he is, O'Rourke would probably agree that one shouldn't take only his word on Smith. Still, the book reads like a witty 'Cliffs Notes,' with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The famous satirist headlines a new series of Books That Changed the World,' in which well-known authors read great books 'so you don't have to.' While irreverently dissecting Adam Smith's 18th-century antimercantilist classic, The Wealth of Nations, O'Rourke continues the dogged advocacy of free-market economics of his own books, such as Eat the Rich. His analysis renders Smith's opus more accessible, while providing the perfect launching pad for O'Rourke's opinions on contemporary subjects like the World Bank, defense spending and Bill Moyers's intelligence (or lack thereof, according to O'Rourke). Readers only vaguely familiar with Smith's tenets may be surprised to learn how little he continues to be understood today. As O'Rourke observes, 'there are many theories in [The Wealth of Nations], but no theoretical system that Smith wanted to put in place, except 'the obvious and simple system of natural liberty [that] establishes itself of its own accord.' Libertarian that he is, O'Rourke would probably agree that one shouldn't take only his word on Smith. Still, the book reads like a witty Cliffs Notes, with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "An entertaining alternative to the heavy lifting required in confronting Adam Smith firsthand."
"Review" by , "In a highly accessible, often hilarious tone, O'Rourke parses Smith's notions of political and economic freedom. Readers well versed and not so well versed in economic theory will enjoy this delightful look at Smith's famous and famously dense work."
"Synopsis" by ,
As one of the first titles in Atlantic Monthly Press “Books That Changed the World” series, Americas most provocative satirist, P. J. ORourke, reads Adam Smiths revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you dont 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 nine hundred pages in two volumes—including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page “digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries,” which, “to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.” Although daunting, Smiths tome is still essential to understanding such current 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.
"Synopsis" by , First published in 1776, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" was instantly recognized as the fundamental work of economics. In this hilarious and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, OURourke shows why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary.
"Synopsis" by , Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was first published in 1776, and was recognised as the fundamental work of economics. The Wealth of Nations was also recognised as being really long. And as P.J. O'Rourke points out, to understand The Wealth of Nations, you also need to read Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. But now you don't have to read either. That's because P.J. has waded through Smith's dense work, including Wealth's 67-page "digression concerning the Variations in the value of Silver during the Course of the Four last Centuries." In this hilarious examination, 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.
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