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Publisher's Summary

The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words. Smith details his argument in five books:

  • Book I. Of the Causes of Improvement in the Productive Power of Labour
  • Book II. Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock Introduction
  • Book III. Of the Different Progress of Opulence in Different Nations
  • Book IV. Of Systems of Political Economy
  • Book V. Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

Taken together, these books form a giant leap forward in the field of economics. A product of the "Age of Enlightenment," The Wealth of Nations is a must for all who wish to gain a better understanding of the principles upon which all modern capitalistic economies have been founded and the process of wealth creation that is engendered by those principles.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Monte
  • Clayton, NC, United States
  • 03-12-12

Amazingly accessible

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I had thought the Smith had anticipated much of our current understanding of the way markets function. Instead, he had all of the fundamentals figured out. I was fearing that it would be quite obscure in topic and language, but found it pleasantly accessible, if perhaps a bit long.

As as reading the classics, I would definitely recommend this.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The market.

What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

It fit the material.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Way Your World Works

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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ADAM SMITH

“The Wealth of Nations” is often referred to but rarely read or listened to in the 21st century. Thirty Six hours of an audio book is punishing. However, one is surprised by Adam Smith’s prescient understanding of the value of freedom and his appreciation of American and British conflict over American’ colonization. “The Wealth of Nations” is not only about economics. It is about politics as an essential ingredient of economics.

Visiting “The Wealth of Nations” is a worthwhile journey into history. One wonders–Is there a 21st century Adam Smith in America’s future or is he/she pottering around Asia, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa and not yet recognized? Is there an alternative to free market capitalism that insures freedom and offers prosperity?

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frank
  • West Valley City, UT, United States
  • 06-03-11

Loved the Narrator

The writings herein is brought forth with great workmanship of speech. Recording was wonderful and enjoyable through all 5 books.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Worth the Effort

The most misused and misquoted author I think I have ever read. This is a book equal to Origin of Species in importance or Descent of Man. If you want to understand the way our economic system works, this is where to start. A brilliant life's work.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Shawn
  • Elma, WA, United States
  • 01-07-13

Very interesting

What made the experience of listening to The Wealth of Nations the most enjoyable?

I am very interested in the history of capitalism and this book was very educational.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam Smith

What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He sounds like what I would expect someone from the time period of the book's writing to have sounded like; very aristocratic and educated. There are references in the book to our American colonies and Mr. Jackson's reading made is seem like it had just happened a short time prior.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not possible. I listen to the book when I am hiking which allows me to focus on the content.

Any additional comments?

This is not a story book it is actually a text book or scholarly analysis. If you are in to economics, capitalism, or business, then this book is for you. I have read some of the book but l found listening to it to be a more effective way of absorbing it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Simply a classic. Much better audio this time.

A couple of years ago, I purchased this title and really struggled with the quality of the audio. This newer edition is much better. As for the content, it is what it is. A classic that is the foundations to our current understanding of economics. It has great historical value but is not really an easy read. For me, its just something I had to get being an avid student in economics. I won't be giving a review of the subject matter since it is what it is and many have done much better that i could ever do. Just wanted to say this version has great audio!

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Classic

Especially an economic classic because even though the currencies & trades discussed are dated to his era, the logic of his tax policies, national debt/fiscal responsibilities are eerily the exact same issues of importance today.

There is much material directly relating to the American Revolution, you can experience the frustrations of the colonists as Adam Smith (although he writes from his perspective as a British Citizen in Europe) describes in real time their dilemma & you can somewhat anticipate the oncoming Revolution by his thorough examination of their confrontation in regards to their lack of representation.

He also makes many predictions especially about American prosperity that are eerily true today exposing his insight, intuition, & intellect about the future.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Long but worth it

What did you love best about The Wealth of Nations?

After hearing about Adam Smith and he being quoted time and time again, I finally decided to give him a listen, because I knew that I would not have the time or dedication to make through the book. I had built up my listening stamina through the years i have had Audible and began the journey. This is not a light listen, you will have to trudge through but the insights you receive will be worth it.

What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

excellent reading voice, brought it to life as much as it is possible to bring a book about economics to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was shocked that the "invisible hand of the market" statement I heard quoted was not as big and powerful idea as i thought.

Any additional comments?

If you are trying to understand the basics of how economies work this is a good start.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazingly accessible

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I had thought the Smith had anticipated much of our current understanding of the way markets function. Instead, he had all of the fundamentals figured out. I was fearing that it would be quite obscure in topic and language, but found it pleasantly accessible, if perhaps a bit long.

As as reading the classics, I would definitely recommend this.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The market.

What about Gildart Jackson???s performance did you like?

It fit the material.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Way Your World Works

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not just for hard conservatives

I think Adam Smith is among a canon of writers (Ayn Rand definitely included) who are abused by conservatives, many of whom do not seem to be really familiar with the actual writing. So I would encourage progressives to give this a careful listen, even if they are not classical liberals in orientation, as I am. For instance, Adam Smith laid out the argument, at the time of the birth of the United States, that paying workers less than a living wage was unsustainable in a truly market economy. It's on us, then, to answer why this has actually sustained in the US economy, particularly in the time since the 1970s. For his time, he is remarkably thoughtful, he is able for instance to analyze the situation of the English colonies in a way that mostly (not always) avoids descending into racism, for instance really offering a sensible look at the role economics took in souring the relation between the UK and India, and the course of events that inevitably led from this writing in the late 18th century, to India's independence in the 20th century.

The narrator, Mr. Jackson, is lovely in the sense that he has a sartorial style one imagines to involve powdered wigs and stockinged legs - in other words, he reads this as a period piece, and I find this really nice, in that it does help contextualize what Adam Smith was saying in the time he lived, although some things are tremendously insightful, such as it is impressive how insightful his views on monetary policy of his day, including issues we no longer deal with, such as gold coins wearing down, also apply to the modern era, in which cash money has to be increasingly sophisticated to guard against counterfeit. In any event, I think everyone should read this book, regardless of political ideology. For progressives, I think you will find there is more here to value than you think. For conservatives, you should listen to what he actually said and not what a radio pundit told you he said.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-17

Good but pace yourself

Really enjoyed this book and pretty much every sentence is interesting but it can be heavy and draining.

Also, seriously, brush up on how much guineas and shillings are worth otherwise a lot of the analogies will be lost. I got very confused when he starts comparing how many guineas are paid per bushel of wheat compared to how many florins per hogs head of ale.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Modestas
  • 01-15-18

Economic development

Quite long book, I listened for a months, but it was worth it. the book helps develop your economic understanding.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • G Douglas Whistler
  • 08-08-18

Important, but dull

Very well read, by a clear- & well-intoned reader, & putting forward economically foundational & politically intriguing positions (which inform a historical & contemporary understanding of Western poltical-economy), I found this book, nonetheless, quite dull - which is a pity. In part, this perceived flaw is a result of the format - audiobooks being less well-equipped to engagingly & comparatively present statistical & numerical data than the printed page -, but it should also be born in mind that I finished it, an event unlikely (I should imagine) if I were to attempt to read the printed text. I'm thinking of this as an 'important' book, but which I hope never to read (or hear read) again.

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  • raymond taptue
  • 05-11-18

the amazing Body of works

the reader is horrendous. how can you disrespect such a genuis... overall the book is good to develop critical understanding of economics. I would definitely advised to anybody

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  • ejaik
  • 04-10-18

still fresh after several centuries

This book is the Hallmark of clear thinking and concise writing. An exercise in logic, moral thought and basic economics.

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  • Alírio d.
  • 04-06-18

After years waiting for it...

It has it all, and I mean all plus some!

It reads like all the epic business, finances, economics, marketing, sociology and politics books start and end here, 1776... What a brain!

Excellent narrator, however, for this book, my choice would have been one "more with the times" of the literary oeuvre(and I do mean the voice and style).

Best thirty six hours divided three!

Alirio da Silva.

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  • george
  • 11-17-16

Very long winded

very boring, dull and extremely long winded. The narrator was very much monotone and was not engaging.

5 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-19-18

Classic underlying

So many concepts that underpin capitalist ideology, like the invisible hand, first advanced by Smith here. Indispensable reading. Narration could have been better though, put me to sleep sometimes.