17 June 2008
SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
2 volumes, 4o (280 x 215 mm). Half-title in volume 2 only, as issued. (Some intermittent spotting.) Early 19th-century speckled calf (rebacked preserving the spine, some recent gilding, corners bumped); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: H. Minchin (contemporary signatures).
FIRST EDITION OF "THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF MODERN ECONOMIC THOUGHT" (PMM). 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). Goldsmith 11392; Grolier English 57; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897. (2)
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