The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Counterpoint S.)

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9780043311011: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Counterpoint S.)
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The Protestant ethic — a moral code stressing hard work, rigorous self-discipline, and the organization of one's life in the service of God — was made famous by sociologist and political economist Max Weber. In this brilliant study (his best-known and most controversial), he opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through "the struggle of opposites." Instead, he relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds — an effort that ultimately discouraged belief in predestination and encouraged capitalism. Weber's classic study has long been required reading in college and advanced high school social studies classrooms. This is a exact reproduction of the 1930 original edition translated by Talcott Parsons with a Foreword by R. H. Tawney.

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Review:

"In a style at once elegant and rigorous, Stephen Kalberg presents us with a superb translation of Max Weber′s classic study of religion and economics that to a large extent has defined the nature of the historical sociology of capitalism... [This] work of authoritative and authentic scholarship ... will establish the bench mark for Weber translations in the social sciences." Bryan S. Turner, University of Cambridge

"I am glad to see this immensely important work, first published a century ago, finally made available to the English reading public in an accessible version ... Kalberg succeeds in making the text a pleasure to read." Egon Bittner, Brandeis University

"Weber′s classic text has now at last been given the treatment it deserves in English, with Stephen Kalberg′s meticulous translation and superb editorial presentation." William Outhwaite, University of Sussex

"This new translation offers a readable, trenchant alternative to the ideologies of modernity and to the postmodernist philosophies central to much social theory, ethics and theology today. Those interested in the future will attend to this fresh recovery of the past." Max L. Stackhouse, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Stephen Kalberg has produced a book that teachers and students will find invaluable. What an excellent idea, to combine a new translation of Max Weber′s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with other closely related writings of Weber′s, including a detailed and accessible introduction and supporting background information on Weber the man, on the book, and on its place in contemporary social science. Kalberg′s comprehensive introduction manages to be informative and scholarly while remaining a clear and intelligible guide to the book. The introduction offers an accurate and refined statement of Weber′s important and influential (if often misunderstood) thesis, placing it in the context of its era and to Weber′s general idea of sociology. This new version of The Protestant Ethic should greatly improve upon its predecessor and clear up misunderstandings of Weber′s meaning which the earlier translation may have engendered." Wes Sharrock, University of Manchester

"This new translation of Weber′s The Protestant Ethic, one of the most important social science works of the twentieth century, is a welcome and worthwhile enterprise. It carefully presents the numerous and important nuances of Weber′s text, giving a clear idea of the place of this text in the intellectual framework of his time. Professor Kalberg′s introduction provides a very interesting commentary on this text as well as the place of Weber′s work in the history of sociology and its relevance to the central problems of contemporary sociology theory. [The book] is a distinct contribution – and a tool for students of sociological theory and its history." S.N. Eisenstadt, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"A couple of years ago I had to re–read Plato′s Republic. I was amazed by the striking resemblance between the social problems addressed by Plato and the problems of contemporary societies. I had similar experience after reading the new translation of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Stephen Kalberg, an internationally acclaimed Weberian scholar. Although capitalism and the discursive formation that has laid the foundation for its existence has changed very much, reading this classical work of Weber reminds one the nature and operations of capitalism that we take for granted...[Kalberg] has successfully overcome the daunting task of balancing between keeping Weber′s message intact while at the same time providing a reader friendly translation." AlemSeghed Kebede, California State University, Bakersfield

"Essentially, Kalberg achieves his goal of providing an indispensable, up–to–date resource for the scholar, teacher, student while, at the same time presenting the general, albeit serious reader with an engaging version of this most outstanding of Weber′s works. Auto/Biography Journal

From the Back Cover:

First published in 1905, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is one of the most renowned and controversial works of modern social science. It is a brilliant book that studies the psychological conditions which made possible the development of capitalist civilisation. The book analyses the connection between the spread of Calvinism and a new attitude towards the pursuit of wealth in post–Reformation Europe and England, and attitude which permitted, encouraged even sanctified the human quest for prosperity.

This new edition has been translated and introduced by internationally acclaimed Weberian scholar Stephen Kalberg. With a precise and nuanced rendering of Weber′s style and arguments, Kalberg clarifies the various twists and turns of Weber′s complex lines of reasoning. Kalberg′s introduction examines the controversy surrounding the book and summarizes major aspects of Weber′s analysis. A glossary of major terms is included to make this the clearest, most readable edition of this classic text yet available.

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