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Riches and Poverty

Riches and Poverty
An Intellectual History of Political Economy in Britain, 1750–1834

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: April 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521559201

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About the Authors
  • In Riches and Poverty, Donald Winch explores the implications of a fundamental and influential idea in political economy. Adam Smith's science of the legislator provided a key to studying the rich and poor in commercial societies, transformed an ancient debate on luxury and inequality, and furnished a basis for assessing the American and French revolutions. Against this background, Britain embarked on its career as the first manufacturing nation, and Malthus made his first contributions to a debate which concluded with the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. Malthus provoked fierce opposition from the Lake poets, opening an intellectual rift that persisted throughout the nineteenth century and continues to influence our perceptions of cultural history. Donald Winch has written a compelling and consistently-argued narrative of these developments, which emphasises throughout the moral and political bearings of economic ideas.

    • No comparable work dealing with this subject in depth
    • The author is a leading authority on the subject
    • Links between some of the most significant ideas and events of the period - Smith, Malthus, revolutions, romantic period of literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Riches and Poverty is a powerful, innovative and magesterial survey. Large swathes of it are virtually definitive.' Boyd Hilton, The Times Higher Education Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521559201
    • length: 444 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 151 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 colour illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. After Adam Smith: prologue
    Part I. Adam Smith's Science of the Legislator:
    2. An excessive solicitude for posthumous reputation
    3. The secret concatenation
    4. The wisdom of Solomon
    Part II. Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Factious Citizens:
    5. Contested affinities
    6. The loss of regal government
    7. Burke's creed: politics, chivalry, and superstition
    8. The labouring poor
    Part III. Robert Malthus as Political Moralist:
    9. Imminence and immediacy: initial bearings
    10. New and extraordinary lights
    11. Rather a matter of feeling than argument
    12. A manufacturing animal: things not persons?
    13. The bountiful gift of providence
    14. Last things and other legacies
    Part IV:
    15. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Donald Winch, University of Sussex

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