SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
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SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.

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SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.

First edition of ‘the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought' (PMM). A very attractive copy in a handsome contemporary binding. In his Wealth of Nations, Smith 'begins with the thought that labour is the source from which a nation derives what is necessary to it. The improvement of the division of labour is the measure of productivity and in it lies the human propensity to barter and exchange... The Wealth of Nations ends with a history of economic development, a definitive onslaught on the mercantile system, and some prophetic speculations on the limits of economic control' (PMM). Goldsmiths' 11392; Grolier, English 57; Kress 7261; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897.

2 volumes, quarto (287 x 224mm). With the half-title only in vol. II as issued, the final blank in vol. I, adverts printed on verso of last leaf in vol. II, and with, as often, cancels M3, Q1 U3, 2Z3, 3A4 and 3O4 in vol. I, and D1 and 3Z4 in vol. II (tiny hole in 3N2 of vol. I touching one word, marginal repair in 2Z1 in vol. II not affecting text, some leaves in 4b and 4C in vol. II misbound). Contemporary calf, spines decoratively gilt, red and green morocco lettering pieces gilt (a few light scuffs, tailcap to vol. I chipped, repairs to joints and spine ends).
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