This book is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. It is broken down into five books compiled in four volumes. There are two important features of Smith’s concept of the invisible hand. Firstly, Smith was not advocating a social policy (that people should act in their own self interest), but rather was describing an observed economic reality (that people do act in their own interest). Secondly, Smith was not claiming that all self-interest has beneficial effects on the community. He did not argue that self-interest is always good. Smith believed that while human motives are often selfish and greedy, the competition in the free market would tend to benefit society as a whole anyway.