SMITH, Adam (1723-90). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
2 volumes, 4to (276 x 222mm). Half-title in Vol. II only, as issued, with publisher’s advertisement for the fourth edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments on title verso and publisher's advertisements on 4F2v in Vol. II. (Vol. I lacking final blank 3T4, internal tear crossing text on leaf L4, small circular stain on some lower margins, single wormhole in upper outer margin in second half, some minor marginal spotting or worming on a few leaves at end of volume, several pages in Vol II with later ink annotations in German and some underlinings in colored pencil, occasional minor marginal spotting.) Contemporary calf (rebacked to style, some restoration, later endpapers); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: John Evans (contemporary ink signature on each title).
FIRST EDITION OF "THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF MODERN ECONOMIC THOUGHT" (PMM). In his Wealth of Nations, Smith "begins with the thought that labour is the source from which a nation derives what is necessary to it. The improvement of the division of labour is the measure of productivity and in it lies the human propensity to barter and exchange... The Wealth of Nations ends with a history of economic development, a definitive onslaught on the mercantile system, and some prophetic speculations on the limits of economic control" (PMM). Goldsmith 11392; Grolier English 57; ESTC T96668; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897.
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