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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Paperback – Apr 4 2003
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..".a brilliant study of the psychological conditions which made possible the development of capitalist civilization."
About the Author
Weber was a professor at the University of Heidelberg. Acknowledged as one of the greatest of the founders of sociology, his influence has yet to reach its peak.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is quite interesting, and includes lots of interesting observations regarding Weber's main premise, despite not being overly long. For instance, the author says that due to the fact that Protestant ethic viewed hard work as a duty and looked down on excesive luxuries, Protestants were indirectly encouraged to save almost all the money they earnt, thus increasing the funds available for the capitalist process. Of course, there are many more examples that contribute to give weight to Weber's argument, but to know more you will need to read *The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism* ...
Weber analyses some data at his disposal, and that makes some chapters slightly less engaging. Notwithstanding that, this book is likely to be worth your time and your money. To start with, you will learn quite a few interesting facts you probably were unaware of before. Secondly, and in a more frivolous vein, you will finally know what everybody is talking about when they mention directly or indirectly this book from time to time :)
All in all, I recommend this book to those interested in Sociology or Cultural Studies, but also to curious people who want to know more about the influence of culture in different processes. Enjoy it !
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It may be cheap, but it *feels* so extremely cheap that it's just not worth the money saved. Buy yourself another edition--or for that matter, just get the text free online. Anything's better than trying to read this edition.
Weber also reveals the development of the spirit of capitalism as a tautologous paradigm of thought that has a long time ago abandoned its original religious motives, leaving behind only a system -- a ghost of a ghost -- that everyone must reproduce in order to survive. This is the "iron cage of [capitalistic] modernity" which we inhabit, and as Weber says, it will not be gone before "the last load of coal has been burned"... A chilling remark in retrospect, as we have now found out that the ever-growing global economy -- a growth for the sake of growth in both communist countries (especially China) and Western democracies -- is cooking up the Globe.
I suggest you waste your money on this.
For all the above reasons I would be reluctant to assign this book to an undergraduate class. Surely there's someone out there willing to take a shot at a new, fresher rendering of this book for the 21st century and fix some of the shortcomings of this rather flawed translation.
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