Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Great New Biographical Article on Adam Smith

The new 2004, 60 volume edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) has a great entry on Adam Smith. It is written by Donald Winch and is authoritative, scholarly and comprehensive.

I enjoyed reading every page and recommend it to everybody who wants to read about Smith’s Works, especially “Moral Sentiments” (the best short summary of his moral philosophy I have read for many a year) and “Wealth of Nations” (a cogent report on Smithian economics that corresponds to Smith's intended legacy). Donald Winch summarises Smith’s biographical details and places his contributions in proper perspective, pleasing I am sure to specialist scholars and pleasantly informative to general readers.

Donald Winch is the author of the much cited 1978 authoritative book: Adam Smith's Politics: an essay in histiographical revision, Cambridge University Press.

The problem this is not a cheap purchase. Even with a publisher’s discount it costs £6,750 (email: ged.welford(at) Alternatively for £50 + vat (17.5 per cent) you get 3 month’s access to the entire DNB (£195 + vat for 12 months) from

Go for it if you can.

Last weekend OUP gave 3-days free access from which I looked up Adam Smith and brouse through many others among his contemporaries (nice to see several authors of entires citing my own work on Captains James Cook and William Bligh, two contemporaries of Adam Smith).


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