Cover image for Max Weber : an introduction to his life and work
Max Weber : an introduction to his life and work
Käsler, Dirk, 1944-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Einführung in das Studium Max Webers. English
University of Chicago Press edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press ; Cambridge [England] : Polity Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
x, 287 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Einführung in das Studium Max Webers.

Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HM22.G3 W446813 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Max Weber: An Introduction to His Life and Work has established itself as the standard short introduction in German to the work of Max Weber, and appears here for the first time in English translation. Sociologist Dirk Käsler has a profound sense of Weber's writings, yet manages to make Weber's ideas accessible to the beginner.

Käsler offers a comprehensive account of Weber's views, giving attention both to the context in which Weber produced his most significant contributions to social science, and to the changes involved in his work over the course of his career. This volume also serves as an introduction to the controversies that Weber's writings have stimulated, from the time of their first appearance to the present day.

This book will be of vital interest to anyone concerned with Max Weber and will undoubtedly become the leading student text on Weber in the English-speaking world.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Kasler's book is incomparable to the many other works on Max Weber. He eschews stereotypes of Weber, offers a comprehensive account of his entire oeuvre, accounts for the historical and social context of Weber's work, and avoids a narrow perspective limited to sociology. What emerges is the impression of an overwhelmingly objective and thorough study. Weber's biography is treated at some length, including his asexual relationship with his wife. Kasler demonstrates effectively that from his earliest and least-known works, Weber was concerned with the general thesis of the origins and effects of modern capitalism. Kasler is particularly critical of the cliche of Weber as the neo-Kantian positivist, and apprehends him instead as being inclined toward a sort of pessimistic individualism and toward a methodology that mediates between object and subject. In his conclusion, which is very disturbing indeed, Kasler depicts Weber as an outsider whose influence was negligible in his lifetime, gaining fame only after WW II. According to Kasler, Weber developed no new sociological theory, nor did he discover any new problematic area or methodology that had not been discussed previously. In sum, Weber "did not furnish sociology with any theory at all." This book includes extensive footnotes, an exhaustive bibliography, and a truly impressive index. Supersedes all previous works on Weber. A must for college, university, and major public libraries.

Table of Contents

Early Writings
The origin and effects of modern capitalism
The Decline of the Roman Empire
East, West and modern capitalism
Urban Sociology'
Citizenship, competition and capitalism
Social Change in German Society
The Agricultural Workers
The Stock Exchange
The Industrial Workers
The Sociology of Religion
The cultural significance of Protestantism
The Economic Ethics of the World Religions'
Economy and Society
Sociology of Law
General Sociology
Economic Sociology
Sociology of Domination
Sociology of Music
Methodological Writings
The Concept of Verstehen or `Understanding'
The Concept of the `Ideal Type'
The Postulate of `Freedom from Value-Judgment'
The Reception of Weber's Work During his Lifetime
Weber's importance for sociology today and in the future