Originally published in 1776, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations was lauded by America’s founders as a landmark work of Enlightenment thinking about national wealth, statecraft, and moral virtue. Today, Smith is one of the most influential icons of economic thought in America.
Lecturer in social studies at Harvard University and author Glory Liu traces how generations of Americans have read, reinterpreted, and weaponized Smith’s ideas over time. Charting the enduring fascination that this humble philosopher from Scotland has held for American readers over more than two centuries, Liu discusses how Smith continues to be a vehicle for articulating perennial moral and political anxieties about modern capitalism today.
Her book Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.
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