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Life of Adam Smith   By: (1845-1915)

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In John Rae's captivating biography, Life of Adam Smith, readers are invited to journey into the fascinating life and times of one of history's great thinkers. Smith, known as the father of modern economics, has long been a figure of interest for scholars, and Rae's comprehensive exploration delves deep into his personal and professional life.

The book skillfully traces Smith's early years in Scotland, highlighting the experiences and influences that shaped his intellectual development. Rae paints a vivid picture of the world in which Smith lived, offering valuable context to understand the economic and social framework that inspired his groundbreaking ideas. From his upbringing in Kirkcaldy to his academic pursuits at the University of Glasgow and Oxford, Rae unveils the formative events that led Smith down the path of becoming a pioneering economist.

The narrative also pays homage to Smith's critical years spent lecturing at the University of Edinburgh, where he honed his analytical skills and developed the intellectual groundwork for his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations. Rae impressively captures the essence of Smith's revolutionary ideas, demonstrating how his theories had far-reaching implications for the future of economic thought and the world at large.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its ability to provide readers with a well-rounded understanding of Smith as both a philosopher and a man. Rae masterfully weaves together anecdotes and insights from Smith's personal correspondence, shedding light on his friendships, observations, and inner thoughts. This approach humanizes Smith, allowing readers to see the visionary economist as a complex and relatable individual, rather than a mere historical figure.

The writing style throughout the biography is engaging and accessible, making it an enjoyable read for both academics and casual readers interested in history or economics. Rae's careful research is evident, and his attention to detail is commendable. He seamlessly blends historical facts with compelling storytelling, creating a seamless narrative that grips readers from start to finish.

Occasionally, the sheer volume of information presented in the book may feel overwhelming for readers less familiar with economic theory. However, Rae's clear and concise explanations, coupled with his ability to convey complex ideas in accessible language, help bridge this gap, ensuring that even those new to the subject matter can follow along easily.

In conclusion, John Rae's Life of Adam Smith offers an illuminating and thought-provoking exploration into the life and work of one of history's most influential figures. Combining meticulous research with a captivating narrative, Rae successfully depicts Smith as a multifaceted individual whose ideas continue to shape our understanding of economics today. This biography is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Smith's life and his enduring impact on the world.

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Life of Adam Smith








The fullest account we possess of the life of Adam Smith is still the memoir which Dugald Stewart read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on two evenings of the winter of 1793, and which he subsequently published as a separate work, with many additional illustrative notes, in 1810. Later biographers have made few, if any, fresh contributions to the subject. But in the century that has elapsed since Stewart wrote, many particulars about Smith and a number of his letters have incidentally and by very scattered channels found their way into print. It will be allowed to be generally desirable, in view of the continued if not even increasing importance of Smith, to obtain as complete a view of his career and work as it is still in our power to recover; and it appeared not unlikely that some useful contribution to this end might result if all those particulars and letters to which I have alluded were collected together, and if they were supplemented by such unpublished letters and information as it still remained possible to procure. In this last part of my task I have been greatly assisted by the Senatus of the University of Glasgow, who have most kindly supplied me with an extract of every passage in the College records bearing on Smith; by the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who have granted me every facility for using the Hume Correspondence , which is in their custody; and by the Senatus of the University of Edinburgh for a similar courtesy with regard to the Carlyle Correspondence and the David Laing MSS... Continue reading book >>

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