Eamonn Butler has set himself a truly unenviable task, that is to condense a 900 page book to less than 100 pages. And just to make it harder Wealth of Nations, while well respected and admired, is rich with language and phraseology of its time. Fortunately Butler is well up to the task being as he is published author and Adam Smith expert/Director of the Adam Smith Institute. The book includes a primer of The Theory of Moral Sentiments another great book of Smith’s.
Butler has made economics students’ task that much easier with this work. Those who have read Smith’s tomes might object to his books being reduced in such a way. However the ideas contained therein are important enough that any positive method to interest people in the book has to be welcomed. As someone who has read both, I can understand that feeling.
Despite the turgid subject and original text, this book aptly reduces the book to its core. I would recommend this to anyone who wishes to brush up on their Smith or anyone keen to educate themselves on the true nature of Adam Smith’s writing. I suspect this book may end up on syllabi of well-taught Economy 101 classes in the Anglosphere and beyond.
Rarely is so much said in so few pages.