Econlib

The Library

Other Sites

Front Page arrow Archive arrow Books
Books

From time to time we highlight books which are in the Online Library of Liberty. See the full list of titles in the Library or the most recent additions.



Samuel Smiles' Self Help (1859)
Sesquicentennial of the Publication of Samuel Smile's Self-Help (1859)

Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was a Scot who originally trained as a doctor before turning to journalism fulltime. Smiles wrote for a popular audience to show people how best to take advantage of the changes being brought about by the industrial revolution which was sweeping Britain and other parts of the world in the first half of the 19th century. In his best known work, Self Help; with Illustrations of Character and Conduct (1859) he combines Victorian morality with sound free market ideas into moral tales showing the benefits of thrift, hard work, education, perseverance, and a sound moral character. He drew upon the personal success stories of the emerging self-made millionaires in the pottery industry (Josiah Wedgwood), the railway industry (Watt and Stephenson), and the weaving industry (Jacquard) to make his point that the benefits of the market were open to anyone.

[For further reading see Popular Political Economy]