Adam Smith (1723-1790) is now widely regarded as the greatest economist of all time. But what he really thought, and the implications of his ideas, remain fiercely contested.
Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and individual freedom? A prime mover of ‘market fundamentalism’? An apologist for human selfishness? Or something else entirely?
In Adam Smith political philosopher Jesse Norman dispels the myths and caricatures, and provides a far more complex portrait of the man. Offering a highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, Norman explores his work as a whole and traces his influence over two centuries to the present day.
Finally, he shows how a proper understanding of Smith can help us address the problems of modern capitalism. The Smith who emerges from this book is not only the greatest of all economists but a pioneering theorist of moral philosophy, culture, and society.
“A wise book accessible to the general reader...You'll want to read Mr. Norman and then Smith if you have any thought at all of getting beyond the clichés of left and right...Engaging, intelligent, educational.” - Wall Street Journal