Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy

Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy

by John Patrick Diggins, Diggins, John Patrick
     
 

Max Weber is a fresh look at the life and work of one of the greatest social and political thinkers of the modern era, and the first book to focus on Weber from an American perspective.Ever since World War II, Max Weber has been regarded as a monument to the most conservative and conventional orthodoxies of the social science establishment. Despite the fact

Overview

Max Weber is a fresh look at the life and work of one of the greatest social and political thinkers of the modern era, and the first book to focus on Weber from an American perspective.Ever since World War II, Max Weber has been regarded as a monument to the most conservative and conventional orthodoxies of the social science establishment. Despite the fact that many of Weber’s books, foremost among them, Economy and Society and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, are classics and continue to be read, there has never been a single-volume treatment of Weber’s life and thought in English.In reversing this critical neglect, John Patrick Diggins challenges Weber’s iconic status and in the process uncovers another side of Weber: one influenced by Nietzche, one whose deep belief in individualism bound him close to the Emersonian tradition in America, one with a Lincoln-like sense of history as tragedy, and one with a sober sense of the responsibilities of the state.Diggins brilliantly connects the critical moments of Weber’s life—and in particular, his experience of America—to his most enduring ideas on power, capitalism, bureaucracy, and science. He argues that Weber’s emphasis on such topics as rapaciousness, hypocrisy, and deception makes his work timelier than ever in helping to illuminate the dilemmas of modern American politics.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
This book—part biography, part exegisis, part appreciation—is one of Diggins' best.
Booknews
Diggins (history, City University of New York Graduate Center) challenges Weber's iconic status, looking at his life and thought from an American perspective and uncovering his philosophical ties to Nietzsche, his belief in individualism, his Lincoln-like sense of history as tragedy, and his sense of the responsibilities of the state. He connects his experience of America with his ideas on capitalism, bureaucracy, and science, and argues that his work still illuminates dilemmas of modern American politics. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465017508
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
07/11/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
283
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.16(d)

What People are saying about this

Franco Ferrerotti
"Beautifully written, fully documented, it conveys an idea of Weber as an insightful tormented social scientist who sees politics as a diabolical pact, tackles the problems of industrialized societies and anticipates the anguish of post-modernity."
Adam Wolfson
"Few will not be enlightened by Mr. Diggins's challenging study."

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