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This landmark work sets out the relationship between Western religious ethos and the emergence and growth of capitalism; its thesis being that the values of hard work and industry at the core of ascetic Protestantism made it possible for modern rational capitalism to flourish. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the Talcott Parsons translation (1930). It is accompanied by the Translator's Note and explanatory annotations.'Interpretations' includes five major scholarly essays on Weber and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Ola Agevall, Richard F. Hamilton, Gudmund Hernes, Peter Breiner, and Richard Swedberg.A Chronology of Weber's life and work, a Selected Bibliography, and an Index are also included.