Monday, December 07, 2009

Anybody Recognise the Author?

Another item I found in my library clearout is a typescript paper: “Mercantalist Policy and the American Economic Community: an essay in applied economics” but with no author named. Apparently it was published in the Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 37, but a brief search did not produce a title list for this volume.

It is an exceptionally good piece of work on Adam Smith’s views on the American “disturbances” in Book IV, Wealth Of Nations, and the author makes extensive references to Smith’s text (the Oxford University Press edition).

If anybody knows of the author’s name, please let me know in the comments or to the email address at the head of the Blig.

One striking thing I did note is that while the paper skilfully discuses Smith’s writings as an “essay in persuasion” it does not make any reference to the metaphor of the “invisible hand” in chapter ii, p 456.



Blogger Chris Brooke said...

It's by Andrew S. Skinner, and it was published as "Adam Smith and the American Economic Community an Essay in Applied Economics", Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1976), pp. 59-78.

9:40 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...


Many thanks.

I recognised its quality - it appears to be a copy of the original typescript - and I can now place where I go it from.

In 1972-76 I was teaching economics at Strathclyde University and Andrew Skinner gave me several references for writing for my book, The Economics of Defence, Faber, 1975 and introduced me to Adam Smith's writing on defence (Book V, Wealth Of Nations).

He must have given me an original copy of his then new article too. Andrew has been a major influence on my work on Adam Smith, as noted in both my 2005, Adam Smith's Lost Legacy (Palgrave) and 2006, Adam Smith: a moral philosopher and his political economy (Palgrave), both of which he encouraged me to write.

I shall ring him after I get news from my daughter or son-in-law of her second baby's birth this morning!


8:52 am  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Hi Chris

I spoke with Andrew Skinner last evening and he confirmed his authorship and reported that he is writing another essay on a similar subject for publication edited by Jeffrey Young.


7:57 am  

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