Synopses & Reviews
Recognized almost instantly upon 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, according to P. J. O'Rourke, "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 current hot topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this hilarious, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, O'Rourke 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.
"Highly accessible, often hilarious.... [Listeners] well versed and not so well versed in economic theory will enjoy this delightful look at Smith's famous and famously dense work." ---Booklist
In one of the first titles in the Atlantic Monthly Press's Books That Changed the World series, America's most provocative satirist, P. J. O'Rourke, reads Adam Smith's revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you don't have to.
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. The former editor in chief of National Lampoon magazine, O'Rourke now writes for Rolling Stone and the Atlantic Monthly. He lives in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over one hundred of them in theater and film, Michael is primarily heard, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. During his career as a one-man repertory company, he has recorded many series with running characters-including the complete Travis McGee adventures by John D. MacDonald and the complete Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout-as well as series by such masters as Mark Twain, John Cheever, and John Updike. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for At All Costs by Sam Moses and In Nixon's Web by L. Patrick Gray III. Named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine, he holds an M.F.A. in theater from the University of Southern California. Michael appears regularly on the professional stage, including as a member of Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Company, performing such great roles as Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451, which became the second-longest-running production in the Los Angeles area. Bradbury himself dubbed Michael "the finest Beatty in history."