events archive

Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

Daniel Ben-Ami on classical political economy.

6:45pm, Thursday 27 February 2014, London

Recording of the discussion:

This session will focus on Adam Smith’s own account of his political economy rather than subsequent attempts to claim his mantle. Participants should if at all possible read the allocated sections of The Wealth of Nations (TWON). A future forum will examine Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments.


Daniel Ben-Ami, author, Ferraris for All


Books one and two of TWON (available online here but many other versions exist). The most important sections of all are chapters I, V, VI, VII and VIII of book one.

Isaac’s Rubin’s A History of Economic Thought ( originally published in Russian in 1929). Available here. The section on Adam Smith (chapters 18-24) and the brief review of the course (chapter 40)

Several other short pieces are also useful as background:

A polemic against the view that Smith simply maintained that individuals pursue their self-interest.
A capsule biography of Smith
A chronology of his life and times

events archive