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Max Weber in America$
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Lawrence A. Scaff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147796

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147796.001.0001

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Thoughts about America

Thoughts about America

(p.11) One Thoughts about America
Max Weber in America

Lawrence A. Scaff

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the origins and direction of Max Weber's thinking as he set his sights on America. It first considers Weber's enthusiasm as a traveler, citing his trips to various countries as well as the impact of these journeys on his spirits and his historical imagination. It then discusses one reason why Weber's travel to the United States in 1904: it came just as Weber had turned his attention to the problems of his most famous work—the theme of the relationships among economic action, economic development, and the moral order of society, explored in his two-part essay The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism. The chapter explains why the journey became a touchstone for a number of Weber's later reflections on issues on the agenda of American Progressivism, from immigration and race to education, religion, democracy, political economy, and capitalism.

Keywords:   capitalism, Max Weber, travel, United States, economic action, American Progressivism, immigration, religion, political economy

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