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JAMES R. OTTESON is Executive Director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, and the Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics, at Wake Forest University. He received his BA from the University of Notre Dame and his PhD from the University of Chicago. He specializes in political economy, business ethics, the history of economic thought, and political philosophy. His publications include Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life (Cambridge, 2002); Actual Ethics (Cambridge, 2006), which won the Templeton Enterprise Award in 2007; Adam Smith (Bloomsbury, 2013), The End of Socialism (Cambridge, 2014), and an edited collection of primary sources called What Adam Smith Knew: Moral Lessons on Capitalism from Its Greatest Champions and Fiercest Critics (Encounter, 2014). His most recent publications include essays in Economics and the Virtues: Building a New Moral Foundation, (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Adam Smith: His Life, Thought, and Legacy (Princeton University Press, 2016).
This book provides some answers through seminal readings on the nature, purpose, and effects of capitalism as understood by its most influential expositors, both historical and contemporary.