Literature and Political Economy

  • Aaron KitchEmail author


The modern definitions of “political economy” and “literature” emerged around the same time in eighteenth-century Britain, although both concepts were centuries in the making. One important work that anticipates both, for example, is Thomas More’s Utopia, which employs a series of literary techniques to stage debates about the role of wealth in the commonwealth. Some two hundred and fifty years later, the chief architect of modern political economy Adam Smith also developed his ideas about political economy in and through his study of literature and rhetoric. Beginning with a brief consideration of Smith’s own intellectual development, this chapter then exmaines the intersection between “literature” and “political economy” from Utopia to Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees in relation to three overlapping rubrics: the nation, language, and the body.


Literature Political Economy Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations rhetoric asthetics nation nationalism language the body Bernard Mandeville The Fable of the Bees Thomas More Utopia 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bowdoin CollegeBrunswickUSA

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