9780745641478

Max Weber : A Biography

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780745641478

  • ISBN10:

    0745641474

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-03-02
  • Publisher: Polity Pr
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Summary

Max Weber (1864-1920) is recognized throughout the world as the most important classic thinker in the social sciences - there is simply no one in the history of the social sciences who has been more influential. The affinity between capitalism and protestantism, the religious origins of the Western world, the force of charisma in religion as well as in politics, the all-embracing process of rationalization and the bureaucratic price of progress, the role of legitimacy and of violence as offsprings of leadership, the 'disenchantment' of the modern world together with the never-ending power of religion, the antagonistic relation between intellectualism and eroticism: all these are key concepts which attest to the enduring fascination of Weber's thinking. The tremendous influence exerted by Max Weber was due not only to the power of his ideas but also to the fact that behind his theories one perceived a man with a marked character and a tragic destiny. However, for nearly 80 years, our understanding of the life of Max Weber was dominated by the biography published in 1926 by his widow, Marianne Weber. The lack of a great Weber biography was one of the strangest and most glaring gaps in the literature of the social sciences. For various reasons the task was difficult; time and again, attempts to write a new biography of Max Weber ended in failure. When Joachim Radkau's biography appeared in Germany in 2005 it caused a sensation. Based on an abundance of previously unknown sources and richly embedded in the German history of the time, this is the first fully comprehensive biography of Max Weber ever to appear. Radkau brings out, in a way that no one has ever done before, the intimate interrelations between Weber's thought and his life experience. He presents detailed revelations about the great enigmas of Weber's life: his suffering and erotic experiences, his fears and his desires, his creative power and his methods of work as well as his religious experience and his relation to nature and to death. By understanding the great drama of his life, we discover a new Max Weber, until now unknown in many respects, and, at the same time, we gain a new appreciation of his work. Joachim Radkau, born in 1943, is Professor of Modern History at the Bielefeld University, Germany. His interest in Max Weber dates back nearly forty years when he worked together with the German-American historian George W. F. Hallgarten (Washington), a refugee who left Germany in 1933 and who, as a student, listened to Weber's last lecture in summer 1920. Radkau's main works include Die deutsche Emigration in den USA (1971); Deutsche Industrie und Politik (together with G. W. F. Hallgarten, 1974), Aufstieg und Krise der deutschen Atomwirtschaft (1983), Technik in Deutschland (1989), Das Zeitalter der Nervositat (1998), Natur und Macht: Eine Weltgeschichte der Umwelt (2000).

Author Biography

Joachim Radkau, born in 1943, is Professor of Modern History at the Bielefeld University, Germany. His interest in Max Weber dates back nearly forty years when he worked together with the German-American historian George W. F. Hallgarten (Washington), a refugee who left Germany in 1933 and who, as a student, listened to Weber’s last lecture in summer 1920. Radkau’s main works include Die deutsche Emigration in den USA (1971); Deutsche Industrie und Politik (together with G. W. F. Hallgarten, 1974), Aufstieg und Krise der deutschen Atomwirtschaft (1983), Technik in Deutschland (1989), Das Zeitalter der Nervosität (1998), Natur und Macht: Eine Weltgeschichte der Umwelt (2000).

Table of Contents

Abbreviations Preface to the English Edition
The Violation of Nature
Great Mother and Harsh Nature
A Precocious Youth on the Margins of Berlin
Max and Minimax
Blood Brothers and Drinking Companions
Surly Fraternity as a Primary Social Experience
From Father's Boy to Mother's Boy
A Comradely Marriage and the Day of Judgement for the Father
Antaeus, Antiquity and Agrarians
the Unshackling of Creativity through the Earthing of Culture
Eruptions from the Ice
Creativity as Natural Catastrophe
A `Gospel of Struggle' and Old German Corpulence
From Lifestyle Crisis through Creativity Crisis to Existential Crisis Notes to Part 1
Nature's Revenge
The Demons
The Wildness of Nature and the Riddle of Sexuality
'A Sort of Spiritualistic Construction of the Modern Economy'
The Protestant Ethic and the Vain Quest for Redemption through the Spirit
South - North - West - East
Changing Attempts at Spiritual Conquest of the World
From the `Essay of Sighs' to `Psychophysics'
the Seven-Year Argument with Naturalism against Naturalism
From the Eranos Circle to the `Erotic Movement'
New Roots and New Milieux
Max Weber's Love-Hate for the Germans Notes to Part 2
Salvation and Illumination
Value-Free Science, Love and Music
Charisma
The Naturalness of Community - The Disguised Naturalism in Economy and Society
From Deborah's Song of Triumph to the `Titans of the Holy Curse:' Pacifist Herdsmen, Prophets and Pariahs - the Israelites
World War and Flight from the World
Major speeches, the great love and death `Should I fit the image that you once had of me?' Powerplay and the Wrangling over Max Weber's Spirit Notes to
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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