The Old Adam, After All

A Review of The Other Adam Smith by Mike Hill and Warren Montag

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Williams College, Massachusetts


Hill and Montag’s The Other Adam Smith confirms many of the Left’s established positions on Adam Smith, but does so by framing the philosopher as a standard-bearer of the Scottish Enlightenment, and not just as an arch-capitalist and proto-Hayekian. The book makes a strong case, but also strong-arms its readers into choosing between the Scottish Enlighteners and the Spinozism that its authors prefer.

  • Arrighi, Giovanni 2007, Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the 21st Century, London: Verso.

  • Buchan, James 2008, The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas, New York: Norton.

  • Montag, Warren and Ted Stolze (eds.) 1997, The New Spinoza, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Rothschild, Emma 2002, Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Smith, Adam 1980 [1795], ‘The History of Astronomy’, in Essays on Philosophical Subjects, edited by W.P.D. Wightman, J.C. Bryce and I.S. Ross, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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  • Stedman Jones, Gareth 2005, An End to Poverty? – A Historical Debate, New York: Columbia University Press.

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