The spiritual roots of our strange relationship to work
Play • 53 min

The pandemic caused many to rethink our relationship to work. But how did that relationship develop in the first place? Sean Illing talks with George Blaustein, professor of American Studies, about the legacy and influence of Max Weber, the German theorist whose best-known work is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) — which, Blaustein says, is often misunderstood. In the summer of 2020, George wrote an essay interpreting Weber's ideas on the psychology of work, the origins of capitalism, and the isolation of modernity — just as it looked like everything might change.

Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area

Guest: George Blaustein (@blauwsteen), senior lecturer of American Studies and History, University of Amsterdam; editor, European Review of Books


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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Engineer: Patrick Boyd
  • Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall

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