Holloway Classics

The Wealth of Nations

by Adam Smith
The foundational text in economics is a practical treatise against the mercantalist economic structure of monarchy and for free-market capitalism, and covers topics from the division of labor to agriculture, taxation, and war. The publication of this book marked a paradigm shift in economic and political theory, establishing classical economic theory as the dominant model of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Originally published by William Strahan in 1776
Project GutenbergDigital text
National Galleries ScotlandImages
Wikimedia CommonsImages
Rachel JepsenDigital Production
Create a free account or log in to start reading now.
Why read on Holloway?
The Details
Length: 1380 pages
Language: English
ISBN (Holloway.com):
978-1-952120-23-7

About the Author

Adam Smith
Adam Smith, the 18th century economist known as the “father of capitalism,” was born in Scotland in 1723. Smith’s first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, propelled him to fame. His second book, The Wealth of Nations, had a profound influence on the world, solidifying classical economic theory as the dominant economic theory of the 18th and 19th century. Smith’s work espoused a “free” market regulated by competition and supply and demand, rather than government. The intention was to help countries develop capitalist economies to replace the mercantalist control of monarchies and establish democratic rule—the theory being that capitalist democracies will regulate themselves, guided by the “invisible hand” of the market. The book also introduced the concept of a gross domestic (or national) product, and covers topics from the division of labor to agriculture, taxation, and war. Classical economics was largely replaced after the Great Depression and World War II, by Keynesian economics, which advocated for more government intervention in markets. But classical economics had changed the world forever. Smith’s influence on trade and global politics cannot be overstated, yet he died, in 1790, apparently regretting that he had not done more. He is buried in Canongate Kirkyard, in Edinburgh.