As one of the first titles in Atlantic Monthly Press' "Books That Shook" series, America's most provocative satirist, P.J. O'Rourke, reads from Adam Smith's revolutionary
The Wealth of Nations - so you don't have to.
Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long. The original edition totaled over 900 pages in two volumes, including the blockbuster 67-page "digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries", which, O'Rourke says, "to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu".
Although daunting, Smith's tome is still essential to understanding such currently hot topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this hilarious, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P.J. puts his trademark wit to good use and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important.
"In a highly accessible, often hilarious tone, O'Rourke parses Smith's notions of political and economic freedom." (
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Good listen for a right-wing take on Smith
A work of genius ruined