Counter to the popular impression that Adam Smith was a champion of selfishness and greed, Jerry Muller shows that the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations maintained that markets served to promote the well-being of the populace and that government must intervene to counteract the negative effects of the pursuit of self-interest. Smith's analysis went beyond economics to embrace a larger "civilizing project" designed to create a more decent society.
"A profoundly erudite and timely study."--John Gray, National Review
"Muller's great accomplishment in this book is to present a clear, thoughtful, and engaging overview of Adam Smith's thought. He reveals Smith to be a wide-ranging and innovative thinker who formulated a comprehensive social science."--Peter McNamara, The Review of Politics
"Jerry Muller has written an extraordinarily good book on the most quoted and least read of the worldly philosophers."--Robert Heilbroner, Author of The Worldly Philosophers
"A good work of intellectual history should exemplify two qualities above all: an imagination that allows the author to 'pass over' into the horizon of his subject in order to see the world as the subject sees it; and a sympathy such as to gain a feel for the world of the subject. . . . Like Adam Smith, his subject, intellectual historian Jerry Muller exemplifies these traits to an exceptional degree."--Michael Novak, First Things
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Jerry Z. Muller:
Hardcover published in 1993 by The Free Press