Hard Cover. London: Printed for J. Maynard and F. Zinke, 1811. Very Good.
Early edition. Three volumes. Finely bound in full contemporary brown tree calf, boards and spines decoratively ruled in gilt, black morocco spine labels lettered in gilt, blue marbled text block edges. A near fine set with some light wear to extremities, superficial cracking to the backstrips, bookplates to front pastedowns, Vol. II with a three-inch scratch to the rear board, Vol. III with front hinge lightly starting but still sturdy. Overall, a beautiful set. First published in 1776, The Wealth of Nations has been hailed as "The first and greatest classic of modern economic thought." The book is Smith's meditation on the influence of labor on economic development, the relationship of a nation's economy to its national development, and the intellectual underpinnings of a self-regulating, free-market economic system. A groundbreaking text, The Wealth of Nations had immediate widespread impact and continues to be a pillar of economic theory today. Indeed, the authors of Printing and the Mind of Man aver that "Where the political aspects of human rights had taken two centuries to explore, Smith's achievement was to bring the study of economic aspects to the same point in a single work." PMM 221.