"THE ABLEST MASTER OF POLITICAL ARITHMETIC" (HAMILTON)
(HAMILTON, Alexander) POSTLETHWAYT, Malachy. Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce. London, 1774. Two volumes.
Important 1774 fourth edition of Postlethwayt's massive two-volume folio Dictionary, published in London only two years before the American Revolution, the same edition held by John Adams in his library, a timely work containing the Preliminary Discourses not present in the first and second editions. Within five years of this edition, Alexaner Hamilton's "initial plans for a U.S. financial revolution were hatched in several letters—more accurately essays—on political economy." Postlethwayt's Dictionary proved elemental to Hamilton, America's first Secretary of the Treasury, in designing America's economic independence, and was the "inspiration for U.S. industrial policy" in its impressive detailed charts and 25 very large folding maps, including many of North and South America, as well as those of Europe, Asia and Africa. Rare in contemporary calf boards. $7500.