Max Weber in America
Lawrence A. Scaff
Max Weber, widely considered a founder of sociology and the modern social sciences, visited the United States in 1904 with his wife Marianne. The trip was a turning point in Weber's life and it played a pivotal role in shaping his ideas, yet until now virtually our only source of information about the trip was Marianne Weber's faithful but not always reliable 1926 biography of her husband.Max Weber in America carefully reconstructs this important episode in Weber's career, and shows how the subsequent critical reception of Weber's work was as American a story as the trip itself.
Lawrence Scaff provides new details about Weber's visit to the United States--what he did, what he saw, whom he met and why, and how these experiences profoundly influenced Weber's thought on immigration, capitalism, science and culture, Romanticism, race, diversity, Protestantism, and modernity. Scaff traces Weber's impact on the development of the social sciences in the United States following his death in 1920, examining how Weber's ideas were interpreted, translated, and disseminated by American scholars such as Talcott Parsons and Frank Knight, and how the Weberian canon, codified in America, was reintroduced into Europe after World War II.
A landmark work by a leading Weber scholar, Max Weber in America will fundamentally transform our understanding of this influential thinker and his place in the history of sociology and the social sciences.Lawrence A. Scaff is professor of political science and sociology at Wayne State University. He is the author of Fleeing the Iron Cage: Culture, Politics, and Modernity in the Thought of Max Weber.