General Description (from Amazon.com)
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.
Why the President Should Read This Book
Because he tried reading The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and found it too boring to finish. Seriously, Wealth of Nations is a rough book to get through. By the time you’re 50 pages into it and you realize there are several hundred pages left you’ve also reached the point where you realize the only reason you’re going to finish it is just to say that you have finished it, and then you realize that’s pointless. But, if someone really wants to understand The Wealth of Nations, then P. J. O’Rourke’s commentary on it is a great place to start, and his book is entirely more interesting to read.
I never did finish reading The Wealth of Nations. I read the Bible once, cover to cover, but I didn’t see the point in reading it twice that way. I don’t read the Bible, I read in the Bible. The same goes for The Wealth of Nations, except that I didn’t even see the point of reading it cover to cover once.