Over the years, many textbooks have been written about the
troika of sociological geniuses, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Too
often, however, these works have been mere distillations of the
views of the great thinkers. They did not intend nor could they
hope to capture the subtleties and nuances of the original
With the publication of Ian McIntosh's "Classical Sociological
Theory: A Reader," extracts of the most relevant and noteworthy
works of the classical sociological thinkers are available for the
first time in a single volume. Here we find lengthy excerpts from
Marx's "Communist Manifesto and The German Ideology," Weber's
"Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," Durkheim's "The
Division of Labour in Society and Suicide: A Study in Sociology."
Generous portions of fifteen other texts are included here, as well
as selected correspondence of Karl Marx.
Each extract is prefaced by an introduction which provides the
reader with essential background information on each author's
Weltanschauung, without telling the student what to think or
encapsulating the excerpt to follow. Brief biographies of the
principals and guides for further reading provide the student with
a frame of reference for the texts.
"Classical Sociological Theory: A Reader" is not a replacement
for the full texts in the original. It is, however, an enticement,
whetting the appetite for further exploration of the masters of
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