On The Wealth of Nations by P. J. O'Rourke
Books That Changed the World

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Synopsis

In On The Wealth of Nations, America’s most provocative satirist, P. J. O’Rourke, reads Adam Smith’s revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you don’t have to. Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long:  the original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes—including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page “digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries,” which, “to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.” Although daunting, Smith’s tome is still essential to understanding such current hot-topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie. In this hilarious, approachable, and insightful examination of Smith and his groundbreaking work, P. J. puts his trademark wit to good use, and shows us why Smith is still relevant, why what seems obvious now was once revolutionary, and why the pursuit of self-interest is so important.
 

About P. J. O'Rourke

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Satirist and novelist Patrick James "P. J." O'Rourke was born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and attended Johns Hopkins University where he received his M.A. in English. He worked for the magazine National Lampoon, eventually becoming editor-in-chief. He wrote articles such as "Foreigners Around the World". He received a writing credit for National Lampoon's Lemmings which helped launch the careers of John Belushi and Chevy Chase. In 1981, he left the magazine to write screenplays (including Rodney Dangerfield's Easy Money). O'Rourke contributes regularly to such magazines as Playboy, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The American Spectator, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone (for which he is Foreign Affairs Desk Chief). Patrick O'Rourke has published 15 books including three New York Times bestsellers. His bestselling novels include Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, and All the Troubles in the World.
 
Published January 15, 2008 by Grove Press. 256 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Humor & Entertainment, Comics & Graphic Novels. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On The Wealth of Nations

The New York Times

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P. J. O’Rourke read all 900 pages of “The Wealth of Nations” so you don’t need to.

Jan 07 2007 | Read Full Review of On The Wealth of Nations: Boo...

PopMatters

When the government runs business operations, it invariably does so very badly.” (Remember the Pentagon’s thousand-dollar toilet seats?) “Society can endure some Gordon Geckos and some Enrons,” O’Rourke says.

Feb 26 2007 | Read Full Review of On The Wealth of Nations: Boo...

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