The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Economy Editions) (Paperback)
The Protestant ethic -- a moral code stressing hard work, rigorous self-discipline, and the organization of one's life in the service of God -- was made famous by sociologist and political economist Max Weber. In this brilliant study (his best-known and most controversial), he opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through the struggle of opposites. Instead, he relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds -- an effort that ultimately discouraged belief in predestination and encouraged capitalism. Weber's classic study has long been required reading in college and advanced high school social studies classrooms.