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The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas (Enterprise) (Enterprise)

The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas (Enterprise) (Enterprise)

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Celebrated author James Buchan breathes new life into Adam Smith's legacy and the beginnings of modern economics.

The Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) has been adopted by neoconservatives as the ideological father of unregulated business and small government. Politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan promoted Smith's famous 1776 book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations , as the bible of laissez- faire economics. In this vigorous, crisp, and accessible book, James Buchan refutes much of what modern politicians and economists claim about Adam Smith and shows that, in fact, Smith transcends modern political categories.

Drawing on twenty-five years of research, Buchan demonstrates that The Wealth of Nations and Smith's 1759 masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments , are just brilliant fragments of one of the most ambitious philosophical enterprises ever attempted: the search for a just foundation for modern commercial society both in private and in public. In an increasingly crowded and discontented world, this search is ever more urgent.