Despite his fame, there is still widespread ignorance about the breadth of Adam Smiths contributions to economics, politics and philosophy. In ADAM SMITH -- A PRIMER, Eamonn Butler provides an authoritative introduction to the life and work of this founder of economics. The author examines not only 'The Wealth of Nations', with its insights on trade and the division of labour, but also Smiths less well-known works, such as 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments', his lectures, and his writings on the history of science. Butler therefore provides a comprehensive, but concise, overview of Adam Smiths intellectual achievements. Whilst earlier writers may have studied economic matters, it is clear that the scope of Smiths enquiries was remarkable. In relating economic progress to human nature and institutional evolution he provided a completely new understanding of how human society works, and was very much a precursor of later writers such as Hayek and Popper. Indeed, with poor governance, protectionism and social engineering still commonplace, Smiths arguments are still highly relevant to policymakers today.
ADAM SMITH -- A PRIMER includes a foreword by Sir Alan Peacock, an introduction by Gavin Kennedy and a commentary by Craig Smith.
Eamonn Butler is director and cofounder of the Adam Smith Institute think tank, and a broadcaster on economic and social issues. He is the author of Ludwig von Mises--A Primer and Public Choice--A Primer. Alan Peacock is an economist who has taught at the University of St Andrews; the London School of Economics; the University of Edinburgh's School of Economics; the University of York, where he founded the department of economics, and the University of Buckingham, of which he was the vice-chancellor from 1980 to 1984. He is a former chief economic adviser to the Department of Trade and Industry of the United Kingdom and a cofounder and the first executive director of the David Hume Institute. Gavin Kennedy is emeritus professor, Heriot-Watt University, with 33 years of teaching experience in economics, defense economics, public finance, and business negotiation. He is the author of Adam Smith's Lost Legacy and Adam Smith: A Moral Philosopher and His Political Economy. Craig Smith is a former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of politics at the University of Glasgow and is currently lecturer in the department of moral philosophy at the University of St Andrews.
Why Adam Smith is important; Smiths life and career; Wealth of nations; The Theory of Moral Sentiments; Smiths lectures and other writings; A digression on the invisible hand; Some of Adam Smiths famous quotations; Select bibliography.