Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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9780024248602: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

A brilliant book which studies the psychological conditions which made possible the development of capitalist civilization. The book analyzes the connection between the spread of Calvinism and a new attitude toward the pursuit of wealth in post-Reformation Europe and England, and attitude which permitted, encouraged–even sanctified–the human quest for prosperity.

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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.

About the Author:


Max Weber (1864-1920) was a key figure in the development of the social sciences and wrote many works in the fields of sociology, politics, economics and law. In the course of his career he taught at the universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg and Munich.

Stephen Kalberg is Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University. He is the co-chair of the German Study Group at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, and the author of Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology (Polity Press, 1994).

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