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: 148869
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His masterpiece

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 (197 x 122 mm). Contemporary tree sheep, twin red and tan morocco labels, smooth spines gilt in compartments, blue endpapers, yellow edges.


Complete with half-titles. Wear at head of spine and front joint of vol. II, some very gentle toning and foxing but contents otherwise crisp and fresh; a handsome copy.


Carpenter XXXIII (1); Einaudi 5118; En Français dans le Texte 207; Goldsmiths' 18616; INED 4110; Kress B.4729; Mattioli 3236.


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