"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Many teachers and students unexpectedly finished classes virtually this memorable Spring Semester of 2020. Our daily lives were disrupted, isolating us from our communities as a pandemic unleashed its wrath and reached across the globe. We now live with tremendous uncertainty about how we will live, work, learn, and play in our changed world. We are in it and will do it together, helping each other as we go.
Thank you for exploring our collections and sharing our interest in the works and life of Adam Smith.


Our June Collection:


This month’s Teacher Resource Collection focuses on another time in history associated with significant change.  Lives weren’t threatened by a deadly virus. This disruption of the status quo was led by a group of extraordinary individuals after Britain emerged from a horribly destructive 30 year war. New ideas threatened the religious belief system of Christians in England and Scotland as brilliant intellectuals and scientists shook the world with their writings and discoveries.  Individual liberty, freedom of thought, reason, and logic were celebrated and used to challenge just about everything.  This period of Enlightenment that begun in 17th century changed the world.

The cast of influential characters was wide, and the impact on scientific discovery in astronomy, medicine, the performing and fine arts, philosophy, government, democracy, law, literature, and education was monumental. Remarkable individuals from this time include Isaac Newton, Galieo Galilei, John Locke, Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and many more. Prominent individuals in the specifically Scottish Enlightenment, which began in the mid 18th century, include Thomas Carlyle, Hugh Blair, David Hume, George Turnbull and of course, Adam Smith. The Scottish Enlightenment was a time of individual improvement, in a peaceful window of time where five universities flourished. Careers in the church, law, and trade, accompanied economic growth, and regular meetings of Societies and Clubs led to social experimentation and a multiplication of  ideas. In one of our recent Virtual Reading Groups, we read Leo Damosch's The Club. Read more about it- and see the AMA video we recorded with the author! (Learn more about ASW Reading Groups here.)

Our AdamSmithWorks collection of essays on the Scottish Enlightenment offers an opportunity for individual exploration as well as potential for shared discussion about the people and the lasting impact of this time and place where a disruption positively changed the world.  


NEW at AdamSmithWorks:

By Paul Mueller
There has been so much focus on the ideas and events of the Scottish Enlightenment in recent years that it is easy to overlook its surprising origins. In the early 1700s Scotland was largely rural and was poorer than many other European countries at the time. Very few leading thinkers across Europe took note of what was happening in Scottish universities – the mathematician Colin Maclaurin was the only professor with a significant international reputation at the time. But although Scotland was poor and feudalistic in the centuries preceding its Enlightenment, it had a surprisingly rich intellectual and educational tradition beginning in the 16th century. Read More
Summer is a wonderful time for reading! Join us in reading Gulliver's Travels and follow us on Twitter @AdamSmthWorks or on Facebook for discussion. Our hashtag is #smithworksreads.  We'll also have a series of #ReadWithMe posts at Speaking of Smith.

Jonathan Swift was a favorite author of Adam Smith’s as we learn through multiple accounts of Smith’s lectures and writings. We look forward to an enjoyable reading adventure with you. Happy Reading!
Prepping for the Fall?

No matter what the Fall semester may look like, ASW is committed to helping you teach more Smith! If you missed our collection of Online Teaching Tips, you can find them and more in our TEACH collection.

We've added several new Lesson Plans for middle grades and up. Are YOU interested in submitting a Lesson Plan? Contact us at

Our Wealth of Nations Reading Guide is well underway, and our TMS Guide is available, too.


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