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Max Weber in America
Lawrence A. Scaff

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[A] readable intellectual biography of a major work in social science as well as a fascinating discussion of the politics and personalities behind what seems . . . an inevitable and unalterable stand alone work. Those unfamiliar with Weber may flounder at first, but the anecdotes about the various people and places should hold the reader until the rhythm of the work becomes comfortable and the ideas fall into place. A well developed and insightful presentation should maintain Scaff's status as a leading Weber scholar."--John Barnhill, 49th Parallel

"[T]his is an extraordinary work of dedicated research, performed by a scholar who came to the task with genuine Weberian instincts. Scaff treats his subject with an empathy, sobriety and fairness that are a model to social and political scientists. Admittedly, not many in our ranks could approach Weber's heights of scholarly innovation, because, as Scaff quietly reminds us, he saw further and deeper into American society than most native born or foreign researchers. Max Weber in America is a tribute to a scholar who built his social theory on scientific notions of objectivity and moral impulses of decency."--Irving Louis Horowitz, European Legacy

"Scaff provides such a wealth of information that at times the book seems more about turn of the century America than about Weber. Scaff also devotes a considerable amount of attention to Marianne and her interest in women's rights. As a consequence, Max Weber sometimes seems to disappear from view. This might seem to be a criticism, but Scaff's ability to discuss such a wide range of issues is so good and his focus on Marianne is justly warranted, that this is no drawback to his book."--Christopher Adair-Toteff, Sociology

"Scaff's book is fascinating reading. Its scrupulous description of Weber's background and life events and his analysis of Weber's reception in the American universities and scholarship combine expertise and insight. It covers a relatively unknown episode in Weber's life with an excellent and thorough research."--Simonetta Piccone Stella, Sociologica


"Students of Weber have long been waiting for a study of his 1904 visit to the United States. It is finally here, splendidly researched and beautifully written by one of the foremost experts on Weber. The reader gets to follow Weber roaming the streets of New York and Chicago, meeting with luminaries such as W.E.B. Du Bois and William James, and participating in the famous Congress of Arts and Science in St. Louis, which occasioned the visit."--Richard Swedberg, Cornell University

"This is an outstanding and pioneering work. Scaff offers a vivid picture of Weber's American experience as it has never been written before, and his book is full of fresh insights. He possesses a deep and detailed knowledge of both the American scene and of Weber's German contexts and background--few Weberians combine both qualifications as excellently as Scaff does. Reading this book was pure pleasure."--Joachim Radkau, Bielefeld University, Germany

"Max Weber in America is a masterpiece. Scaff is recognized as a leading Weber scholar and social theorist, and here he demonstrates the intellectual significance of Weber's visit to the United States both for Weber's work and for its subsequent American reception. There is no comparable book."--Guenther Roth, professor emeritus, Columbia University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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