Don't Mess with Smith

Don't mess with Adam Smith's writings or reputation, don't take his words out of context, and don't even think about claiming that Adam Smith was "cynical" about the abolition of slavery during the late 18th century, because Gavin Kennedy will smack you down real hard, but in a gentlemanly fashion:

John Hari reports on Adam Smith�s views as if the gentlemen who founded the Anti-Slavery movement in 1787 �did not listen� to Smith. I presume he does not know that Wilberforce used to quote favourably from �Wealth of Nations� to support the anti-slavery campaign in his debates with the supporters of slavery in Britain and the Americas. Far from not listening, the Anti-Slavery campaign used Smith�s analysis of the political economy of slavery against its practitioners. It is therefore a travesty of the truth for John Hari to report what he does not understand. Isolated quotations make for poor journalism.
The article Mr. Kennedy criticizes is here. And to Palgrave-MacMillian, publishers of Adam Smith's Lost Legacy, this is the type of book that would be good to send to econ bloggers (cough). Also, I like the UK cover better than the US cover.


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on July 7, 2005 12:01 PM.

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