Against the Grain

Claiming Adam Smith

How did a Scottish moral philosopher of the Enlightenment become an apostle of the libertarian right in this country? Political theorist Glory Liu traces the uses of the complex ideas Adam Smith in the United States — from the establishment of the U.S. state, through debates about slavery and inequality, to justifying the ostensible retreat of the state in our era.


Glory M. Liu, Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism Princeton University Press, 2022

Image: Nicole Marie Photography


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