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The Wealth of Nations

By Adam Smith (Author)
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Item description for The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith...

It was Adam Smith (1723-90) who first established economics as a separate branch of knowledge, and many would say his work has never been surpassed. The Wealth of Nations, which appeared in 1776, is the definitive text for all who believe that economic decisions are best left to markets, not governments. At the heart of Smith's doctrine is an optimistic view of the effects of self-interest. This skilful abridgement presents his main ideas.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook
Studio: Naxos AudioBooks
Pages   6
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.5" Width: 4.9" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   Naxos AudioBooks
ISBN  962634864X  
ISBN13  9789626348642  

Availability  0 units.

More About Adam Smith

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Adam Smith (1723-90) was born inGlasgow and educated at Glasgow and Oxford. Two years after his return to Scotland, Smith moved to Edinburgh, where he delivered lectures on Rhetoric. In 1751 Smith was appointed Professor of Logic at Glasgow, but was translated to chair of Moral Philosophy in 1752. His The Theory of Moral Sentiments was published in 1759 and The Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Indpendence.

Andrew Skinner teaches at the Adam Smith Institute and is an expert on the author's work.


Adam Smith was born in 1723 and died in 1790.

Adam Smith has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Dover Philosophical Classics
  2. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  3. Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith
  4. Great Minds Series
  5. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  6. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  7. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  8. Penguin Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Business > General
2Books > Audio CDs > Business > Investing
3Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Economic History
5Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > General
6Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Theory
7Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
8Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Investing > General
9Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Investing

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Wealth of Nations?

A Must Read for all Students of Economics  Feb 13, 2010
This is the definitive work on economics. Adam Smith is considered by many to be the father of Economics. I first read this as a student at the Wharton School of Business. The book traces the history and evolution of modern economics. Many of his lessons are still applicable today. I have re-read (and re-listeden to this particular version) many times throughout my lifetime. This should be required reading for all.

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To Abridge is to Remove the Meat  Aug 16, 2009
Out of necessity, whenever an original work is "abridged," the abridger must make a value judgment regarding what in the original work is worthwhile (and will be preserved), and what is not of relevance, and will thus be discarded and placed beyond your view. So "abridging" really means "editing," which means running the original work through the "value filters" of the editor/abridger. Unfortunately, much of the inspired and inspiring wisdom that Adam Smith toiled long to place in "The Wealth of Nations" has been edited out in this abridgment, to the point, at least in my opinion, where much of the real meat has been removed and much of what remains is merely milk, that is more appropriate for the simpler mind of a suckling child.

Opting for an audio book, rather than taking the time to read the real thing, in and of itself is a significant compromise that forgoes the greater value of being able to pause and contemplate what you have read, and to then do whatever rereading is necessary in order to really evaluate and grasp what is being said.

I realize that our lives are often so busy that we feel a legitimate need to make these kinds of compromises whenever we can. Although you can probably get away with a compromise like that with your recreational fiction, believe me, this is NOT the appropriate time or place to do that! If you are going to opt for the audio version out of necessity and convenience, then don't also opt for the cliff notes version that has already had much of the meat taken out of it by an editor/abridger that thinks he knows better what you need to learn from Adam Smith. If something is calling you to partake of the vast wisdom that is within "The Wealth of Nations," then do it with a commitment to really benefit from the journey. Take a pass on an abridgment! I think you will be glad you did! Dale Gwilliam - Phoenix, Arizona
Abridged ???  May 13, 2009
When they say "abridged" they are not kidding! It seems that they have abridged out about 90% of the original script.This version consists of only 6 discs.

This audio version is so shortened as to make it essentially useless.

Better to just buy the book or try to find an audio version unabridged.

Leo Wagner
Get a Complete Version Instead  Dec 7, 2008
I don't recommend you this abridged audio book. Please get the complete audio, and that's why.

This book is so widely cited and interpreted contrary to the author's original thought, that every economist should read it completely to avoid being misled by such incorrect interpretations.

First, let us take the "invisible hand" metaphor. When I have studied economy in the University, I was taught that almost the entire book is devoted to the "invisible hand" which means "self-corrective markets", "liberalism", "Laissez-faire" and "state non-intervention". After reading this book, I have found out that Adam Smith did use the term "invisible hand" only once in the entire book, in the discussion of domestic versus foreign trade.

To illustrate the point, let me quote the text where term "invisible hand" is used: "First, every individual endeavours to employ his capital as near home as he can, and consequently as much as he can in the support of domestic industry, provided always that he can thereby obtain the ordinary, or not a great deal less than the ordinary profits of stock. Thus, upon equal, or nearly equal profits, every wholesale merchant naturally prefers the home trade to the foreign trade of consumption, and the foreign trade of consumption to the carrying trade. In the home trade, his capital is never so long out of his sight as it frequently is in the foreign trade of consumption. [...]Secondly, every individual who employs his capital in the support of domestic industry, necessarily endeavours so to direct that industry, that its produce may be of the greatest possible value. [...]As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce maybe of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it."

After reading this book, I have found out that Adam Smith was influenced by French Physiocrats. The Physiocrats saw the true wealth of a nation as determined by the surplus of agricultural production over and above that needed to support agriculture (by feeding farm labourers and so forth). Other forms of economic activity, such as manufacturing, were viewed as taking this surplus agricultural production and transforming it into new products, by using the surplus agricultural production to feed the workers who produced the extra goods. While these manufacturers and other non agricultural workers may be useful, they were seen as 'sterile' in that their income derives ultimately not from their own work, but from the surplus production of the agricultural sector.

I have found out that this book is not about "invisible hand" or "Laissez-faire". It is quite a complete study that covers almost every basic aspect of the economy, and remains an effective introduction to economics to this day.

This book is so often mischaracterized and politicized that I suggest you to listen it completely by yourself. This is a must read for every economist. You can get the complete unabridged audio version of this book.

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