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Axios Press’s Essence of . . . series takes the greatest works ever written in the field of practical philosophy and pares them down to their essence. We select the best passages—the ones that are immediately relevant to us today, full of timeless wisdom and advice about the world and how best to live our lives—and leave behind the more obscure or less important bits. Our selections are not isolated: they flow together to create a seamless work that will capture your interest and attention from page one. And we provide useful notes and a solid introduction to the work.

Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is widely regarded as the first modern work of economics and a bible of free market capitalism, although both claims are vigorously disputed. What cannot be disputed is that it offers a stinging indictment of what we today call “crony capitalism,” along with a masterful explanation of why such a system impoverishes the whole world. Originally published in 1776 as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, it continues to be enormously influential. Currents of Smith’s thought run through the works of writers as diverse as Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Noam Chomsky, and Milton Friedman.

Now with linking endnotes and index.

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