The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words. Smith details his argument in five books: Book I. Of the Causes of Improvement in the Productive Power of LabourBook II. Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock IntroductionBook III. Of the Different Progress of Opulence in Different NationsBook IV. Of Systems of Political EconomyBook V. Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or CommonwealthTaken together, these books form a giant leap forward in the field of economics. A product of the "Age of Enlightenment," The Wealth of Nations is a must for all who wish to gain a better understanding of the principles upon which all modern capitalistic economies have been founded and the process of wealth creation that is engendered by those principles.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was born in Glasgow and after being educated in Glasgow and Oxford, he held a number of academic posts before becoming tutor to the young Duke of Buccleuch. This post took him to France where he began writing his political treatise, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. Andrew S. Skinner is Adam Smith Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus at Glasgow University and has published widely on Adam Smith and is the editor of the first three volumes of THE WEALTH OF NATIONS for Penguin.