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.
Unabridged republication of the edition published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1958.
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