Earlier in my career I attempted to quantify the growth of interest in all academic matters relating to Adam Smith. The result was “The Rise of Adam Smith: Articles and Citations, 1970-97,” published in the History of Political Economy 34(1)(Spring 2002): 55-82.
Brandon Dupont at Western Washington University recently sent me a paper in which he revived that interest by doing a Google Ngram search for the “invisible hand.” The result was a spectacular rise in interest in the use of that phrase. Brandon attempts to explain that rise (and the resulting misuse of the phrase compared to what Smith intended).
Luckily, people in the 21st century are reading Smith more thoughtfully, and his old myths and misunderstandings are falling away. What new ones are we concocting in their place?