Listen free for 30 days

  • The Wealth of Nations

  • Written by: Adam Smith
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 36 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Wealth of Nations cover art

The Wealth of Nations

Written by: Adam Smith
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $57.01

Buy Now for $57.01

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words. Smith details his argument in five books:

  • Book I. Of the Causes of Improvement in the Productive Power of Labour
  • Book II. Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock Introduction
  • Book III. Of the Different Progress of Opulence in Different Nations
  • Book IV. Of Systems of Political Economy
  • Book V. Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

Taken together, these books form a giant leap forward in the field of economics. A product of the "Age of Enlightenment," The Wealth of Nations is a must for all who wish to gain a better understanding of the principles upon which all modern capitalistic economies have been founded and the process of wealth creation that is engendered by those principles.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about The Wealth of Nations

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a must!

a long book coming in at around 36hrs but worth the listen and would highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The goat!

Groundbreaking book, the bible of free market classical economics. Smith will forever be remembered as a genius.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant and still relevant

it is hard to provide a useful review of such a great classic. one can only read it.

this is a long undertaking however as it is a massive tour de force and the many many ideas included should be thoroughly digested. unfortunately, most who "quote" Smith have never read him and probably don't understand his arguments at all.

this book is an attempt, using the best evidence of the day, to assess why some countries were poor (despite, like Spain, having control of much of the world's gold supply) and others rich. the tables of numbers don't matter so much today as the theory of the cases involved. one can find similar cases with tables of data in the modern day.

using examples from his time, he discusses topics with current importance including monetary theory, the value of banks, the gold standard vs paper money, international trade balances, trade unions, industrial and land cartels, why owning gold mines is often a bad investment, and human liberty itself.

often it is clear that we have not learned from the lessons of this book at all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Insightful

I was amazed at the level of contemporary insight such an old writing could have. Despite being close ro 300 years old, most of the concepts are very relevant today. Even sone forgotten truths that would be good for out governments to relearn. A bit wordy, long and maybe a bit too many stats, but good all the same.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CHET YARBROUGH
  • 2015-01-20

ADAM SMITH

“The Wealth of Nations” is often referred to but rarely read or listened to in the 21st century. Thirty Six hours of an audio book is punishing. However, one is surprised by Adam Smith’s prescient understanding of the value of freedom and his appreciation of American and British conflict over American’ colonization. “The Wealth of Nations” is not only about economics. It is about politics as an essential ingredient of economics.

Visiting “The Wealth of Nations” is a worthwhile journey into history. One wonders–Is there a 21st century Adam Smith in America’s future or is he/she pottering around Asia, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa and not yet recognized? Is there an alternative to free market capitalism that insures freedom and offers prosperity?

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Monte
  • 2012-03-12

Amazingly accessible

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I had thought the Smith had anticipated much of our current understanding of the way markets function. Instead, he had all of the fundamentals figured out. I was fearing that it would be quite obscure in topic and language, but found it pleasantly accessible, if perhaps a bit long.

As as reading the classics, I would definitely recommend this.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The market.

What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

It fit the material.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Way Your World Works

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frank
  • 2011-06-03

Loved the Narrator

The writings herein is brought forth with great workmanship of speech. Recording was wonderful and enjoyable through all 5 books.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bob
  • 2011-05-31

Simply a classic. Much better audio this time.

A couple of years ago, I purchased this title and really struggled with the quality of the audio. This newer edition is much better. As for the content, it is what it is. A classic that is the foundations to our current understanding of economics. It has great historical value but is not really an easy read. For me, its just something I had to get being an avid student in economics. I won't be giving a review of the subject matter since it is what it is and many have done much better that i could ever do. Just wanted to say this version has great audio!

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rishi Tiwari
  • 2018-02-13

The Wealth of Ages

The book is great compilation of financial data, non-mercantile philosophy and an insight into the mind of the author and his thoroughness amazes me. It is no doubt that collecting all this data back in his time would have been an achievement in itself.
I feel a better understanding of the very fundamentals of economy and society. Interestingly, although unintentional, one can learn a lot about the roots of many words and phrases we commonly use today without them making direct sense to us in modern context.
It is hard to retain all the information contained in this laborious book though and ancient data often becomes a drag when listening to it.

I would suggest readers that if they can find an abridged copy of the book or a commentary on this book which skips the tedious ancient data but retains the original content on philosophy, social and political impact of economic policies and general humour and observations of this very learned author then it would be perhaps a more enjoyable reading than the current tome.

The wisdom speaks through the ages here.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BoulderBob
  • 2016-04-14

Necessary reading for any Bernie supporter!

Since the original publication of this economic and social analysis there have been many attempts to prove it wrong (i.e. Socialism) but all have failed miserably at considerable cost in human lives. Too bad they didn't study and apply the lessons here.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wanderer
  • 2016-05-09

Worth the Effort

The most misused and misquoted author I think I have ever read. This is a book equal to Origin of Species in importance or Descent of Man. If you want to understand the way our economic system works, this is where to start. A brilliant life's work.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • 2013-01-07

Very interesting

What made the experience of listening to The Wealth of Nations the most enjoyable?

I am very interested in the history of capitalism and this book was very educational.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam Smith

What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He sounds like what I would expect someone from the time period of the book's writing to have sounded like; very aristocratic and educated. There are references in the book to our American colonies and Mr. Jackson's reading made is seem like it had just happened a short time prior.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not possible. I listen to the book when I am hiking which allows me to focus on the content.

Any additional comments?

This is not a story book it is actually a text book or scholarly analysis. If you are in to economics, capitalism, or business, then this book is for you. I have read some of the book but l found listening to it to be a more effective way of absorbing it.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CJA
  • 2015-05-26

Classic

Especially an economic classic because even though the currencies & trades discussed are dated to his era, the logic of his tax policies, national debt/fiscal responsibilities are eerily the exact same issues of importance today.

There is much material directly relating to the American Revolution, you can experience the frustrations of the colonists as Adam Smith (although he writes from his perspective as a British Citizen in Europe) describes in real time their dilemma & you can somewhat anticipate the oncoming Revolution by his thorough examination of their confrontation in regards to their lack of representation.

He also makes many predictions especially about American prosperity that are eerily true today exposing his insight, intuition, & intellect about the future.


10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jes_074
  • 2013-10-18

How to be Pro Union and control guide book

I love this book in many ways. I like the part where he talks about if I do a job not in my job description then I should get paid for both jobs. So, at work I do three ‘jobs’ not in my description that should fall to others. This means I would make a lot of many, right? Except my boss doesn’t see it that way. Now the union guys get paid for it if they do it. No, we’re not union here. We’re stock traders.

I also like the part about getting paid double if your married and your wife is home taking care of the kids. Now a ‘Wife’ is a VERY demanding job and I think women should get paid for it. I mean if you hired someone to do that kind of work you’d pay 100k a year for it. I’m not married, but I would give my ‘wife’ a salary if I had one and the government would stop taking half my income.

I do understand the government better now and understand why they can’t control themselves. Their too busy listening to the 1% and going into debt. Like Dave Ramsey, Adam Smith says debt it dump and any government in debt should be removed from service. He then goes on to explain why gold has no value at all. Really? Then why do people want it?

There are lot of parts to this book including sections as to why you should keep people dumb and ignorant. Or why women need to be controlled and kept under their fathers, brothers, or husbands ‘guidance.’ Basically do nothing to disturb the ‘learned man’ from keeping the country moving. There are even parts where he talks about using the unions to intentionally keep prices high or low. Plus how they can use their power to stop the government. The whole section on using religion to control the worlds population is worth a read by itself. I can see why the elite’s love this book.

10 people found this helpful