Summary and Info
"The Wealth of Nations" is a big book of economics, history, philosophy, and social criticism. It is much more than Adam Smith neckties at GOP conventions, just as it is much than a reverential nod or two in modern textbooks. Econ students need to read it to see where their discipline came from and what it could be again. Fortunately, Dickey's abridgment reproduces enough of the text (about 25 percent) to convey the depth of Smith's erudition and the amazing diversity of his interests. Unfortunately, the editorial apparatus is weak. The Comments are few in number and incredibly brief, and the short Preface fails to put the book into historical and intellectual context. Dickey does offer four appendices but these deal with relatively specialized topics rather than the big picture.
Bottom line: this edition is inexpensive but is probably not the best one for students.