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    Sale 2059

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    5 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 141

    RICARDO, David (1772-1823). On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. London: John Murray, 1817.

    Price Realised  

    RICARDO, David (1772-1823). On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. London: John Murray, 1817.

    8o (215 x 135 mm). (One or two spots, bound without publisher's advertisements.) Contemporary calf gilt (rebacked to style, endpapers renewed).

    "A GREAT MANUFACTURING COUNTRY IS PECULIARLY EXPOSED TO TEMPORARY REVERSES AND CONTINGENCIES, PRODUCED BY THE REMOVAL OF CAPITAL FROM ONE EMPLOYMENT TO ANOTHER" (page [363])

    FIRST EDITION OF RICARDO'S FUNDAMENTAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE SCIENCE OF ECONOMICS. Ricardo is credited with the first systematic and scientific approach to economics; his exact mathematical approach and careful deductive methods provided a model for future texts in the field. Ricardo's interest in political economy was aroused in 1799 by a chance reading of Adam Smith. While he enjoyed cordial relations with Malthus, his economic views were decidedly anti-Malthusian. In 1815 he was urged by James Mill and others to set out a systematic account of his own theories. This led to the publication of the Principles, the result of little more than six months sustained work on his part. The "principal problem in political economy" as he defines it, is the "laws" which regulate "the natural course of rent, profits and wages" over time ("Preface"). However, his book covered not only those laws but also a newly developed labor theory of value, the theory of international comparative advantage, monetary theory, the influence of taxation, and strictures on the writings of his predecessors and contemporaries. Kress B7029; Goldsmith 21734; PMM 277.


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