Yet rather than revere them, Williams knocks the big beasts off their pedestals, with Smith and Marx selected for his fiercest critiques. Smith’s fame, he argues, derives not from original thinking, but from repackaging others’ ideas more persuasively. Williams also shows how Marx could not be bothered with evidence, building his entire case against capitalism around the flawed assumption that value is derived from labour input. Marx avoided writing two further volumes of Capital because he knew his errors could not be resolved. The chapters on the less well-known members of the canon are good, despite the inclusion of one or two fairly incidental characters.