The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages: The First Complete English Edition of Weber's Prelude to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society - Legacies of Social Thought Series (Hardback)
  • The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages: The First Complete English Edition of Weber's Prelude to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society - Legacies of Social Thought Series (Hardback)
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The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages: The First Complete English Edition of Weber's Prelude to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society - Legacies of Social Thought Series (Hardback)

(author), (foreword), (translator)
£42.95
Hardback 160 Pages / Published: 17/02/2003
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Weber himself characterized his first book-translated here in its first, complete English edition-as a study in the "formation of commercial law." Weber's argument centers on the legal characteristics of medieval enterprises as a historical precursor to modern forms of commercial enterprises. Weber emphasizes dimensions of medieval law and practices that are at the root of today's business partnerships and modern capitalism. The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages exemplifies Weber's early work in political economy and legal history. His insights here inform parts of his later, classic studies The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society, in which he clearly and succinctly relates the rise of modern capitalism to core themes of his original dissertation, which forms the basis of this book. This early book was a prelude to the multi-causal and multi-dimensional approach that scholars see reflected in his later writings. In subsequent works he would skillfully expand the comparative historical method he had employed in his dissertation to different areas of law and society. The book includes a translation of the original documents that Weber so extensively quoted, thus making his first book accessible to a larger audience. Lutz Kaelber's introduction analyzes the content of Weber's book in the context of Weber's professional career and personal life, summarizes Weber's major arguments, and situates these arguments within Weber's philosophy and writings.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742520493
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages is of crucial importance today. * The Chronicle of Higher Education *
Social scientists in all fields and historians of modern business culture, as well as social theorists and Weber scholars, will finally be able to put Weber's more famous writings on modern economies and societies in historical perspective. This book shows for the first time that the roots of the modern business firm are even deeper in history than the story told in Weber's best-selling work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. For years to come, readers of all kinds will thank Kaelber for making Weber's ideas more accessible. -- Charles Lemert, Andrus Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan University
Lutz Kaelber has performed a service by translating and annotating this important product of Weber's scholarly apprenticeship. Written in the peculiar staccato of historical legal writing of the time-a period in which legal history was at its peak-the text deals with a crucial problem in the rise of western capitalism: the step-by-step creation of a legal structure (a form of liability for debt suitable for capitalist enterprise) out of a legal tradition oriented to the economic unit of the productive household. -- Stephen Turner, University of South Florida
Affords specialists access to an underappreciated aspect of Weber's analysis of early capitalism. * Contemporary Sociology *
Weber's extraordinary dissertation, defended when he was 25, is a minor masterpiece, which surely makes this book the most important translation event for Weberians in the last quarter century. Kaelber's lengthy introduction is indispensable, and corrects a number of longstanding errors in the literature. Everyone who cherishes the Weberian legacy is in his debt. Historical economists, social theorists, intellectual historians, and historians of higher education will want to own this volume. -- Alan Sica, The Pennsylvania State University

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