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SAY, Jean-Baptiste.

Traité d'économie politique,

ou simple exposition de la manière dont se forment, se distribuent, et se consomment les richesses. Seconde édition entièrement refondue et augmentée d'un épitome des principes fondamentaux de l'économie politique.

Paris : Antoine-Augustin Renouard, 1814 Stock Code: 140905
£500.00
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Second edition, revised and expanded, of Say's masterpiece, one of the great works of the classical period of economic thought, here a very nice copy in the original wrappers.

First published in 1803, this second edition did not follow until 1814, a delay often cited as due to the hostility of Napoleon. Napoleon had appointed Say a member of the Tribunat in 1799, and following the work's 1803 publication, he encouraged a new edition with explicit support for the government's unpopular fiscal policies. Say refused on principle, and in return was ejected from the Tribunat. Say's fall from favour prevented publishers from risking a new edition until eleven years later, with the collapse of Napoleon's reign. Thereafter the work was a great success, undergoing 32 editions, and with Smith's Wealth of Nations (whose doctrine Say expounded from an early age), becoming the most popular work on economics in the first half of the 19th century.

"It was the first really popular treatise on political economy ever published in France; his main divisions and his terminology have become classical and have served as a model for innumerable subsequent treatises" (Palgrave, III, p. 357). Despite early claims that his work was derivative of Smith, it has long been proved that Say ranks with Sismondi and Cournot in the originality of his contributions to economic theory, and Schumpeter calls his work "the most important of the links in the chain that leads from Cantillon and Turgot to Walras" (History of Economic Analysis, pp. 492-3).

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Description

2 volumes, octavo. Uncut in original blue paper wrappers, remnants of printed paper labels to spines.

Condition

Labels worn, general light rubbing and creasing, contents unmarked and clean save for sporadic light foxing, some page corners turned over. A fresh copy.

Bibliography

Kress B.6387; Goldsmiths' 20891.

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