The #1 New York Times–bestselling political humorist reads Adam Smith’s classic economic treatise—so you don’t have to.
Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long. The original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes—including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page “Digression concerning the Variations in the Value of Silver during the Course of the Four last Centuries,” which, to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.
Although daunting, Adam Smith’s tome is still essential to understanding such current hot topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this witty, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P. J. O’Rourke puts his trademark wit to good use, and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important.
“If there is anyone on the planet who can make Adam Smith as entertaining and informative as he was prophetic, it’s P. J. O’Rourke.” —The Weekly Standard
“Hilarious . . . Learning history while better understanding the current economy—and laughing while doing it? Hard to ask for more.” —Rocky Mountain News