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SMITH, Adam.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

With notes, and an additional volume, by D. David Buchanan. Second edition. In Four Volumes.

Edinburgh: Printed for Oliphant, Waugh & Innes, Edinburgh; and Ogles, Duncan & Cohran, London, 1817 Stock Code: 136771
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"The first and greatest classic of modern economic thought"

Second Buchanan edition of "the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought" (PMM). Smith's masterpiece was first published in 1776, Buchanan's annotated edition in 1814. David Buchanan (1779-1848) "substantially annotated Wealth of Nations, inserting new chapters and appending an entire volume of commentary, Observations on the Subjects Treated of in Dr. Smith's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. In the second edition this was formally listed as the fourth volume" (Tribe).

In his Wealth of Nations, Smith "begins with the thought that labour is the source from which a nation derives what is necessary to it. The improvement of the division of labour is the measure of productivity and in it lies the human propensity to barter and exchange The Wealth of Nations ends with a history of economic development, a definitive onslaught on the mercantile system, and some prophetic speculations on the limits of economic control" (PMM). "The Wealth of Nations had no rival in scope or depth when published and is still one of the few works in its field to have achieved classic status, meaning simply that it has sustained yet survived repeated reading, critical and adulatory, long after the circumstances which prompted it have become the object of historical enquiry" (ODNB).

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4 volumes, octavo. Uncut in the original brown-cloth backed drab paper boards, black morocco labels to spines.


Some very minor wear to extremities, sporadic faint foxing and a few minor pencilled markings, minor worming in gutter of first ten leaves of vol. IV not affecting text, mostly unopened from the latter part of vol. I onwards. A lovely copy.


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