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JEFFERSON, Thomas (ed.); TRACY, Antonie Destutt de.

A Treatise on Political Economy;

to which is prefixed a supplement to a preceding work on the understanding, or elements of ideology; with an analytical table, and an introduction on the faculty of will.

Georgetown: Published by Joseph Milligan, 1817 Stock Code: 127328
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"The merit of this work will, I hope, place it in the hands of every reader in our country" - Jefferson

First edition in English, revised and edited by Thomas Jefferson. The French text was first published in 1815 as the fourth volume of Tracy's Traité d'Idéologie (the first separate edition in French was in 1823). The French philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836), renowned for coining the word "ideology" in 1796, was a friend and correspondent of Jefferson. Jefferson had already published Tracy's boldly liberal commentary on Montesquieu in 1811 under a pseudonym, to protect Tracy's position as a French senator under Napoleon's regime. The present work is Tracy's treatise on economics, a strong defence of free enterprise and property rights. Jefferson clearly deemed its ideas to be of value to the young republic, writing in his dedication that "The merit of this work will, I hope, place it in the hands of every reader in our country. By diffusing sound principles of Political Economy, it will protect the public industry from the parasite institutions now consuming it, and lead us to that just and regular distribution of the public burthens from which we have sometimes strayed".

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Octavo (207 x 130 mm). Recent half calf, red morocco label, marbled sides.


Pencilled notes to terminal blank and a few pencilled marks in margins; small withdrawn stamp to dedication page. Faint foxing and toning to pages as usual, small chip to bottom corner of p. iii. A very good copy.


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