Product Description Adam Smith's name has become synonymous with free market economics; The Wealth of Nations is taken as the definitive account of the benefits of free competitive markets. Yet recent scholarship has challenged this view and given us a richer, more nuanced figure, steeped in the intricacies of enlightenment social and political philosophy. Adam Smith's Discourse both develops this literature and gives it a radical new extension by taking into account recent debates in literary theory. Review "Vivienne Brown examines Smith's works without presuming that authorial intent will suffice to give us the key to several texts. She also questions whether it is enough to place those texts in their eighteenth century context without asking how they can be read as texts. Instead, she takes as a starting point the proposition that meaning is constructed in the process of reading, and tries to identify the discursive framework most appropriate to each text. The result is an utterly fresh treatment that is at once both unsettling and delightful." -Neil De Marchi, Duke University "This reading of Smith surely turns economic history on its end. Despite what many readers will find challenging conclusions, this book is lively reading for anyone interested in Smith, and forces us to rethink our most beloved conclusions about his work. [P.H.W. in Book Notes]."