ADAM SMITH A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

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Adam Smith

Author : Christopher J. Berry
ISBN : 9780198784456
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 69.63 MB
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In 1776 Adam Smith (1723-90) wrote The Wealth of Nations, a book so foundational that it has led to him being called the "father of economics." Today he is associated with the promotion of self-interest, a defense of greed and a criticism of any governmental 'interference' in market transactions which, if left to the 'invisible hand', will produce prosperity and liberty. Yet if Smith is actually read these associations are more a caricature than a faithful portrait. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Berry offers a balanced and nuanced view of this seminal thinker, embedding his fierce defense of free trade, competition, and assault on special interests in contemporary European history, politics, and philosophy. As Berry explores, Smith was more than an economist. His book The Theory of Moral Sentiment, offered a complex account of ethics in the context of human social behavior. His scope as a professor at the University of Glasgow, a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment, was extensive. Beyond courses in philosophy and jurisprudence he also gave classes covering history, literature, and language. In addition to his two major works he also wrote a pioneering study of the history of astronomy as an illustration of the motivations that drive humans to seek answers to questions. He produced, again derived from his Glasgow classroom, an analysis of the development of grammar and language. As Christopher Berry shows, Adam Smith was no narrow thinker, but rather one who produced not only one of the greatest books in the history of social science, but also a wide-ranging body of work that remains significant today. ABOUT THE SERIES The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Complexity

Author : John H. Holland
ISBN : 9780199662548
Genre : History
File Size : 44.6 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, John Holland presents an introduction to the science of complexity. Using examples from biology and economics, he shows how complexity science models the behaviour of complex systems.
Category: History

The Enlightenment

Author : John Robertson
ISBN : 9780199591787
Genre : History
File Size : 23.85 MB
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A foundational moment in the history of modern European thought, the Enlightenment continues to be a reference point for philosophers, scholars and opinion-formers. To many it remains the inspiration of our commitments to the betterment of the human condition. To others, it represents the elevation of one set of European values to the world, many of whose peoples have quite different values. But what is the relationship between the historical Enlightenment and the idea of 'Enlightenment', and can these two understandings be reconciled? In this Very Short Introduction, John Robertson offers a concise historical introduction to the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement of eighteenth-century Europe. Discussing its intellectual achievements, he also explores how its supporters exploited new ways of communicating their ideas to a wider public, creating a new 'public sphere' for critical discussion of the moral, economic and political issues facing their societies. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Malthus A Very Short Introduction

Author : Donald Winch
ISBN : 9780191649219
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 39.37 MB
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Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an English cleric whose ideas, as expounded in his most famous work the Essay on the Principle of Population, caused a storm of controversy. In this Very Short Introduction, Donald Winch explains and clarifies Malthus's ideas, assessing the profound influence he has had on modern economic thought. Concentrating on his writings, Winch sheds light on the context in which he wrote and why his work has remained controversial. Looking at Malthus's early life as well as the evolution of his theories from population to political economy, Winch considers why and how Malthus's writings have been so influential in the thought of later figures such as Darwin and Keynes. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Neoliberalism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Manfred B. Steger
ISBN : 9780191609763
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 89.96 MB
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Anchored in the principles of the free-market economics, 'neoliberalism' has been associated with such different political leaders as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Augusto Pinochet, and Junichiro Koizumi. In its heyday during the late 1990s, neoliberalism emerged as the world's dominant economic paradigm stretching from the Anglo-American heartlands of capitalism to the former communist bloc all the way to the developing regions of the global South. At the dawn of the new century, however, neoliberalism has been discredited as the global economy, built on its principles, has been shaken to its core by a financial calamity not seen since the dark years of the 1930s. So is neoliberalism doomed or will it regain its former glory? Will reform-minded G-20 leaders embark on a genuine new course or try to claw their way back to the neoliberal glory days of the Roaring Nineties? Is there a viable alternative to neoliberalism? Exploring the origins, core claims, and considerable variations of neoliberalism, this Very Short Introduction offers a concise and accessible introduction to one of the most debated 'isms' of our time. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Hume A Very Short Introduction

Author : Alfred Ayer
ISBN : 9780191606533
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 54.22 MB
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Hume is one of the greatest of all British philosophers, and even in his own lifetime was celebrated as one of the pivotal figures of the Enlightenment. A central theme of his philosophy is the conviction that questions traditionally thought of as completely independent of the scientific realm–questions about the mind, about morality, and about God, for example–are actually best explained using the experimental methods characteristic of the natural sciences. Hume's 'naturalist' approach to a wide variety of philosophical topics resulted in highly original theories about perception, self-identity, causation, morality, politics, and religion, all of which are discussed in this stimulating introduction by A J Ayer, himself one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. Ayer also gives an account of Hume's fascinating life and character, and includes generous quotations from Hume's lucid and often witty writings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Philosophy

Nationalism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Steven Grosby
ISBN : 9780191578243
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 85.1 MB
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This book examines the political and moral challenges that face the vast majority of human beings who consider themselves to be members of various nations. It explores nationality through the difficulties and conflicts that have arisen throughout history, and discusses nations and nationalism from social, philosophical, and anthropological perspectives. In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, Steven Grosby looks at the nation in history, the territorial element in nationality, and the complex ways nationality has co-existed with religion, and shows how closely linked the concept of nationalism is with being human. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Marx A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Singer
ISBN : 9780191578397
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 83.6 MB
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Peter Singer identifies the central vision that unifies Marx's thought, enabling us to grasp Marx's views as a whole. He sees him as a philosopher primarily concerned with human freedom, rather than as an economist or a social scientist. He explains alienation, historical materialism, the economic theory of Capital, and Marx's ideas of communism, in plain English, and concludes with an assessment of Marx's legacy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Mao A Very Short Introduction

Author : Delia Davin
ISBN : 9780191654039
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 86.84 MB
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As a giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the most populous nation on Earth. He was a founder of both the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army, and for many years he fought on two fronts, for control of the Party and in an armed struggle for the Party's control of the country. His revolution unified China and began its rise to world power status. He was the architect of the Great Leap Forward that he hoped would make China both prosperous and egalitarian, but instead ended in economic disaster resulting in millions of deaths. It was Mao's growing suspicion of his fellow leaders that led him to launch the Cultural Revolution, and his last years were dogged by ill-health and his despairing attempts to find a successor whom he trusted. Delia Davin provides an invaluable introduction to Mao, showing him in all his complexity; ruthless, brutal, and ambitious, a man of enormous talent and perception, yet a leader who is still detested by some and venerated by others. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

The Bible A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Riches
ISBN : 9780191578267
Genre : Religion
File Size : 41.5 MB
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It is sometimes said that the Bible is one of the most unread books in the world, yet has been a major force in the development of Western culture and continues to exert an enormous influence over many people's lives. This Very Short Introduction looks at the importance accorded to the Bible by different communities and cultures and attempts to explain why it has generated such a rich variety of uses and interpretations. It explores how the Bible was written, the development of the canon, the role of Biblical criticism, the appropriation of the Bible in high and popular culture, and its use for political ends. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Religion