Human Documents of Adam Smith's Time  book cover
1st Edition

Human Documents of Adam Smith's Time

ISBN 9781138865440
Published March 31, 2015 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1974, this is not a ‘life’ of the founder of the science of economics, although it opens with a biographical sketch; nor is it an analysis of The Wealth of Nations, although it contains numerous pointed quotations from it. Rather, it is a presentation of Adam Smith against his background of time and place, eighteenth century Britain on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.

The first chapter consists of ‘documents’ illustrating life in London: ‘low life’ be it noted, which is not to say that it is all sordidness and debauchery and crime (though there is plenty of that in evidence) but life as it was lived by the ‘lower orders’, whom Adam Smith gratefully recognises as ‘the great body of the people’. The last chapter describes the Scotland that Adam Smith knew – Kirkaldy, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Table of Contents

1. Adam Smith: The Man and his Book  2. ‘Low Life’ in London  3. English Tradesmen  4. ‘Prentice Boys  5. Some London Shopkeepers  6. Country Characters  7. Up and Down the English Roads  8. ‘The Labouring Poor’  9. The Changing Face of British Industry  10. The Scotland that Adam Smith Knew

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