SOCIAL SCIENCES

Adam Smith: Father of Economics

Basic. Sept. 2018. 432p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465061976. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780465093212. ECON
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OrangeReviewStarNorman (Edmund Burke: The First Conservative) turns his attention to economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723–90), creating a splendid introduction to his life and lasting influence. The author draws on established scholarship—including seminal works by Ian Simpson Ross, Knud Haakonssen, and Nicholas Phillipson—but provides a balanced synthesis that challenges historiographical "myths" and offers new insight by placing Smith in far-ranging historical, philosophical, and political-economic contexts, including the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith's friendships with philosophers David Hume and Edmund Burke are fully explored; Norman writes that Smith's "genius is to have set out the field of political economy with markets at its centre…with insights that continue to inspire economists across an astonishing range of fields today."
VERDICT This scholarly and well-crafted book will impart pleasure and knowledge to a range of readers, from the uninitiated to seasoned scholars and policymakers. Highly recommended.

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