- Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour, and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by Tory writers in the moralising tradition of William Hogarth and Jonathan Swift. In 2005, The Wealth of Nations was named among the 100 Best Scottish Books of all time. The minor planet 12838 Adamsmith was named in his memory
I highly recommend that you all read Wealth of Nations. There are parts of the book that are down-right socialist. He advocated for public education, publicly funded health institutions and what we would now call unemployment insurance. This is one of those books everyone quotes but nobody has read, and despite being 200 years old, is quite digestible.