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  • Published: 17 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141987118
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $22.99

Adam Smith

What He Thought, And Why It Matters




A brilliant account of the life, thought and continuing importance of the world's greatest economist

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as 'the father of modern economics' and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and the freedom of the individual? Or a prime mover of 'market fundamentalism' and an apologist for inequality and human selfishness?

This exceptional book, by a writer who combines to an unusual degree intellectual training and practical political experience, dispels the myths and caricatures and gives us Smith in the round. It lays out a succinct and highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, explores his work as a whole and traces his influence over the past two centuries. Finally, it shows how a proper understanding of Smith can help us grasp - and address - the problems of modern capitalism. The Smith who emerges from this book is not only the first thinker to place markets at the heart of economics but also a pioneering theorist of moral philosophy, culture and society.

  • Published: 17 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141987118
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for Adam Smith

Superb ... Norman succeeds in demonstrating the coherence and subtlety of Adam Smith's thought

Martin Wolf, Financial Times (Books of the Year)

This book is well-written, well-argued and intensely thought-provoking, and it will rightly raise Smith's posthumous reputation

Simon Heffer, Spectator

A remarkable and intensely readable book ... a rejoinder to those who fear that the intellectual has disappeared from politics

John Kay, Financial Times

An important work of revisionist biography with a direct and important impact on the intellectual underpinnings of liberal free-market thought

Oliver Letwin, Telegraph

Masterly ... amid the superficiality and hysterics of modern British politics, an admirably thoughtful brain is lurking

Edward Lucas, The Times

This splendid book not only presents an excellent introduction to the life and ideas of Adam Smith, but also explains why - and how - Smith's insights can help us solve some of the most difficult social and economic problems of the contemporary world. Smith loved lucidity and relevance, and I think he would have been very happy with Norman's book.

Amartya Sen

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