Evaluating Adam Smith

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-05-01
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This important new book builds on the understanding that Adam Smith'sWealth of Nationsis best viewed as a cultural document, created within the context of eighteenth century notions of human nature, economy and argument, and that familiarity and rhetoric played a part in its success. Using discourse analysis, Henderson explores Smiths rhetorical strategies, relationships with his sources and readers, and his way of constructing his economic vision in writing. He expertly demonstrates techniques of text analysis to the reader in ways that promote a critical reading of Smith and which the reader can then transfer to the analysis of other texts relevant to the intellectual history of economics. Of great interest to those in the fields of economics and Marxism, Henderson's book evaluates theWealth of Nationsas a text of historical and modern-day significance.

Author Biography

Willie Henderson was until recently Professor of Continuing Education/Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Acknowledgements xix
List of abbreviations xxi
1 Reading the Wealth of Nations and Smith's other writings 1(25)
2 How does Smith achieve a synthesis in writing? Evidence from his analysis of the propensity to truck, barter and exchange 26(17)
3 Nature's dupes: irony and economic agency in Smith's writing 43(19)
4 The political economy of Castle Rackrent: Maria Edgeworth and Adam Smith 62(16)
5 Exemplification strategy in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations 78(14)
6 A very cautious, or a very polite, Dr Smith? Hedging in the Wealth of Nations 92(17)
7 Natural and human institutions: reading for argumentation in book three of the Wealth of Nations 109(20)
8 Adam Smith's construction of 'History' and 'Story': the analysis of primogeniture 129(17)
Notes 146(7)
Bibliography 153(8)
Index 161

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