An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the foundation of classical economics, and it has influenced a broad range of thinkers. In it, Adam Smith stresses the importance of the division of labor to economic progress. He criticizes the arguments for economic planning and offers a detailed theoretical and historical case for free trade. Far more than a work on economic theory, The Wealth of Nations contains philosophy, history, and political theory.
This program discusses Adam Smith's general approach to philosophy and how The Wealth of Nations fits into that approach. It then goes on to cover some major themes in The Wealth of Nations, a lengthy and complex book. Smith's sometimes difficult arguments are given with the background necessary for comprehension.