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Max Weber: A Biography


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xii Preface to the English Edition xiii Abbreviations xviii At the Den of the Sick Lion 1 Part I The Violation of Nature 1 Great Mother and Harsh Nature: A Precocious Youth on the Margins of Berlin 7 2 Max and Minimax: Blood Brothers and Drinking Companions ? Surly Fraternity as a Primary Social Experience 25 3 From Father?s Boy to Mother?s Boy: A Comradely Marriage and the Day of Judgement for the Father 39 4 Antaeus, Antiquity and Agrarians: The Unshackling of Creativity through the Earthing of Culture 70 5 Eruptions from the Ice: Creativity as Natural Catastrophe 96 6 A ?Gospel of Struggle? and Old German Corpulence: From Lifestyle Crisis through Creativity Crisis to Existential Crisis 117 Part II Nature?s Revenge 7 The Demons: The Wildness of Nature and the Riddle of Sexuality 145 8 ?A Sort of Spiritualistic Construction of the Modern Economy?: The Protestant Ethic and the Vain Quest for Redemption through the Spirit 179 9 South ? North ? West ? East: Changing Attempts at Spiritual Conquest of the World 208 10 From the ?Essay of Sighs? to ?Psychophysics?: the Seven-Year Fight with Naturalism against Naturalism 250 11 From the Eranos Circle to the ?Erotic Movement?: New Roots and New Milieux 275 12 Max Weber?s Love?Hate for the Germans 316 Part III Salvation and Illumination 13 Value-Free Science, Love and Music 345 14 Charisma 390 15 The Naturalness of Community ? The Disguised Naturalism in Economy and Society 405 16 From Deborah?s Song of Triumph to the ?Titans of the Holy Curse?: Pacifist Herdsmen, Prophets and Pariahs ? the Israelites 427 17 World War and Flight from the World 450 18 Great Speeches, the Great Love and Death 481 19 Epilogue: Powerplay and the Wrangling over Max Weber?s Spirit 551 Notes 572 Index 667

About the Author

Joachim Radkau, born in 1943, is Professor of Modern History at the Bielefeld University, Germany. His interest in Max Weber dates back nearly forty years when he worked together with the German-American historian George W. F. Hallgarten (Washington), a refugee who left Germany in 1933 and who, as a student, listened to Weber's last lecture in summer 1920. Radkau?s main works include Die deutsche Emigration in den USA (1971); Deutsche Industrie und Politik (together with G. W. F. Hallgarten, 1974), Aufstieg und Krise der deutschen Atomwirtschaft (1983), Technik in Deutschland (1989), Das Zeitalter der Nervositat (1998), Natur und Macht: Eine Weltgeschichte der Umwelt (2000).


" Max Weber: A Biography is studded with sparkling observations on topics ranging from German academia to zoology, and the references to primary and secondary literature are truly encyclopedic." The Journal of The Review of Politics "No serious sociologist can be without a copy of this heavy tome. Artfully translated by Patrick Camiller, the study is hypnotic reading, beautifully written, lively, stimulating, and wonderfully well organized. No review could do justice to the plethora of new insights into Weber that emerge in this study, which will keep specialists happy in controversy for years to come." Canadian Journal of Sociology "Radkau has provided a comprehensive, authoritative, balanced and nuanced view of the man we have come to know as the conflicted, driven, enigmatic genius of 10th-century modernity." Sociology "This absorbing and meticulously researched biography ... recounts a complex, moving story." Book of the week in the Times Higher Education "Radkau's exceptional book brings out the relations between Weber's thought and his life experience. There are sensational revelations about Weber's suffering and eroticism, his fears and desires, and his great creative power." Lancashire Evening Post "The reader is in for an exciting time, but also an agreeable one, since Radkau has an easy, relaxed style, and has been fluently and serviceably translated." Times Literary Supplement "Radkau's biography takes great advantage of the archive documentation and of the family correspondence made available by Guenther Roth's enormous 2001 effort." The Philosophers' Magazine "Joachim Radkau is the first biographer to bring the great social thinker Max Weber to life. He reveals what others tried to conceal: the emotional turmoil suffered by the champion of rationality." Lord Dahrendorf "In this remarkable and engaging study, Joachim Radkau investigates the life, loves, and intellectual passions of one of the early twentieth century's most engaging thinkers. Capturing both the tumultuous times and the singular accomplishments of Max Weber, the author has written a spirited and penetrating account of the creative life that is perhaps unrivaled in its provocative originality. Based on impeccable documentation, the result is a striking portrait of the eros of the intellect, of scientific work in relation to personality. Radkau's impressive achievement is certain to provoke a passionate response of its own." Lawrence A. Scaff, Wayne State University "A minor social-scientific scoop ... By any standards, this is an important work." Peter Thomas, New Left Review "Despite the immense Weber industry, until now we had no biographical account of this quality." Hans Joas, Merkur "An amazing, breath-taking book." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "A brilliant achievement." Suddeutsche Zeitung "I read every sentence of Radkau's Weber ... A must-read." Michael Greven, Neue Politische Literatur

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