Adam Smith in His Time and Ours
Designing the Decent Society
Jerry Z. Muller
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.
Jerry Z. Muller is Associate Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Other God That Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism (Princeton).