Doug Mackenzie asked the HES list members this question about Smith's Wealth of Nations:
which edition of the WON works best for an undergrad
Without doubt, the paperback edition of the Oxford (1976) edition, reprinted by the Liberty Fund at a ridiculously low price (about $20 for the 2 vol set, I think). For at least ten years I have spent four weeks during the first term of my History of Economic Thought seminar [for 4th-year, Honours undergraduates in Economics, for whom it is compulsory at this university] working through selected chunks of WN. The students all buy their own copies and most report that it is one of the best buys they have ever made in economics books. Anthony Waterman
I use Skinner's edition published by Penguin. Jeffrey Young
I devote about a quarter of my one semester course to Adam Smith, and we use Heilbroner's Teachings from the Worldly Philosophy. This has some short one or two page introductions by Heilbroner and then excerpts from the Theory of Moral Sentiments, and then from the Wealth of Nations. One advantage of using this book is that it also has excerpts from Karl Marx, which I then also use for a couple of weeks. Marie Christine Duggan
The edition of WON that works best for an undergrad class depends on how much time you plan to devote to Adam Smith in your course. I teach a freshman seminar on the WON where I use the 1976 OUP edition of Campbell, Skinner and Todd in the inexpensive Liberty Classics paperback. In a regular HET class, where I devote two weeks to Adam Smith, I like to use the abridged version of WON in Robert Heilbroner's
_The Essential Adam Smith_, which also contains excerpts from other writings of Smith such as TMS. I am sure there are many other good abridged versions of WON. Andrea Maneschi
I'm with Anthony Waterman on this one. The Liberty Fund edition of Smith's WoN is wonderful. And, of course, you can now have your students read Sraffa's Ricardo for a "ridiculously" low price as well! See the full catalogue here.
The question -- touched on in the responses above -- is whether Smith's WoN is enough without TMS. I like to have students read some of both. It's possible these days now that low cost and online versions abound.