The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West

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For more than 100 years, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has set the parameters for the debate over the origins of modern capitalism. Now more timely and thought-provoking than ever, this esteemed classic of twentieth-century social science examines the deep cultural "frame of mind" that influences work life to this day in northern America and Western Europe. Stephen Kalberg's internationally acclaimed translation captures the essence of Weber's style as well as the subtlety of his descriptions and causal arguments.

Now, for the first time in one volume, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West integrates Weber's exploration of the spirit of capitalism's origins with his larger project: a multi-causal analysis of the West's distinctiveness and its sources. Weber's texts present wide-ranging discussions on the Western city, state, forms of rulership and law, and modes of economic innovation. Moreover, in many selections Weber offers in-depth and insightful comparisons to China and India. Readings on the "economic ethics" of Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism further illuminate the distinct qualities of the West's trajectory and its diverse causes. A separate section examines the long-range influence of the ascetic Protestant sects and churches on American society.

To draw readers into the material, this engaging volume includes extended introductions by the editor, many new translations, a chronology of Weber's life, an expanded glossary and bibliography, and numerous clarifying endnotes. In addition, Kalberg addresses a variety of debates concerning the central elements of contemporary life. Ideal for courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, history, international relations, and economics, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Other Writings on the Rise of the West is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand the origins and endurance of the modern West.

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Stephen Kalberg is Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University and an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He is the editor of Max Weber: Readings and Commentary on Modernity (2005) and author of Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology (1994). He teaches courses in sociological theory and comparative political cultures.

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