The Real Adam Smith

The Real Adam Smith: A Personal Exploration by Johan Norberg takes an intriguing, two-part look at Smith, his rise to prominence and the impact of his ideas today, both economic and ethical. It’s difficult to imagine that a man who lived in a world of horse drawn carriages and sailing ships would foresee our massive 21st century global market exchange, much less the relationship between markets and morality. But Adam Smith was no ordinary 18th century figure. Considered the “father of modern economics,” Smith was first and foremost a moral philosopher. The revolutionary ideas he penned in The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, changed the world.

Noted author, economic analyst and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg examines Adam Smith’s 18th century ideas and their relevance to our 21st century global marketplace today.

Morality and Markets is the first hour, which takes an intriguing look at Smith, his background and the evolution of his ideas, both economic and ethical. Norberg travels Europe to locales where Smith was born, educated and spent his life teaching, writing and advocating his revolutionary ideas on markets and human morality.

In the second hour, Ideas That Changed The World, Norberg traces Smith’s insights regarding the benefits of free trade and the nature of wealth to the present, where they are currently in operation. He talks with some of the most distinguished Adam Smith scholars, as well as leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies to discover how Smith’s ideas continue to be relevant and drive the global economy today.