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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.

Paris, Printed by Crapelet for Deterville, 1803 Stock Code: 136945

His masterpiece

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First edition of Say's masterpiece, one of the great works of the classical period of economic thought. Initially not republished until 1814, partly due to Napoleon's hostility to Say, the work thereafter went through 32 editions, and with Smith's Wealth of Nations (whose doctrine Say expounded from an early age), became 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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2 volumes, octavo (206 x 134 mm). Recent brown half calf, red morocco labels, brown marbled sides, top edges trimmed, others untrimmed. Original front wrapper and spine panel bound at rear of each volume.


Bindings in fine condition, original wrappers slightly frayed and with repair. Some light foxing, some pages with peripheral paper faults and opened a little roughly, a few marginal paper repairs not affecting text, some intermittent staining at head in vol. I. Overall a very good copy, preserving sections of the original wrappers, and with generous fore and lower margins.


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