Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
January 11, 1996
Noted Economist and Scholar James Buchanan To Assess Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
Lecture Series Examines Books That Influenced Western Thought
James McGill Buchanan, an author of 20 books and a 1986 Nobel Prize winner in economics, will lecture on the impact of Adam Smith's 18th century work, The Wealth of Nations, on Thursday, February 8, at the Library of Congress.
The lecture is the first of a new great books series at the Library, funded by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to examine works that "mattered to Western citizenship, statecraft, and public policy."
The lecture will begin at 1 p.m. in the West Dining Room of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. (Metrorail blue line, Capitol South station).
The grant was awarded to the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division, whose collections number 750,000 books, broadsides, playbills, posters, photographs and other treasures, including the personal libraries of Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt.
At each lecture a Rare Book Division curator will describe the book's printing history and display some early editions.
Dr. Buchanan, a leading researcher in "public choice theory," has taught at several universities during his more than 40 years in academe. At the University of Virginia he directed the Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy and Social Philosophy. He and colleague Gordon Tullock cofounded and led the Center for Study of Public Choice at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg. In 1982, the center moved to George Mason University, where Dr. Buchanan is today an advisory general director to the center and professor of economics. Among Dr. Buchanan's best known books is Calculus of Consent, which he wrote with Dr. Tullock.
Future great books lectures will examine Plato's Republic, presented by Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago Law School (March 7); The Federalist, with Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University (March 21); and the work of the 19th century Prussian military strategist Karl von Clausewitz, On War, given by Sir Michael Howard, Yale University (May 9).
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