A new translation of two celebrated lectures on politics, academia, and the disenchantment of the world.
Max Weber (1864-1920) was a sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and political economist. Considered one of the founders of modern sociology, he is best known for his essay "Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" and for his writings on bureaucracy. Paul Reitter is a professor of Germanic languages and literatures and the director of the Humanities Institute at Ohio State. His work has appeared in Harper's Magazine, Bookforum, The Paris Review, The Nation, and The Times Literary Supplement as well as in various scholarly journals. He is the author of three books, and recently collaborated with Jonathan Franzen and Daniel Kehlmann on The Kraus Project. Chad Wellmon is the author of Becoming Human- Romantic Anthropology and the Embodiment of Freedom and Organizing Enlightenment- Information Overload and the Invention of the Modern Research University. He is on faculty at the University of Virginia. Damion Searls has translated books by Rilke, Proust, Hermann Hesse, Christa Wolf, and others. For NYRB he has edited Henry David Thoreau's The Journal- 1837-1861 and translated Nescio, Robert Walser, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Patrick Modiano.
"The incoherence of modern life could be said to have been Weber's great subject. Weber used the term Entz -auberung--'dis-enchantment'--to describe the way in which science and technology had inevitably displaced magical thinking. . . . His writings anticipate both the rise and fall of the Soviet Union . . . and also the steady, soulless spread of global capitalism." --Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker