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Islam and Capitalism

Product Description

Islam and Capitalism is a learned, engaging rebuttal of the cultural reductionism of Max Weber and others who have tried to explain the politics and society of the Middle East by reference to some unchanging entity called “Islam,” typically characterized as instinctively hostile to capitalism. Maxime Rodinson looks at the facts, analyzing economic texts with his customary common sense, to show that Muslims never had any problem making money.

Maxime Rodinson was a French Marxist historian, sociologist, and a professor at the renowned École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris.

Islam and Capitalism


  1. What a blast from the past! — they don’t write them like this anymore. Originally published in French in 1966, French Arabic-speaking Marxist takes on all comers (most prominently Max Weber) on the topic of Islam and capitalism. Tendentious, polemical, caustic: it brightened up my afternoon. The “About the author” blurb says that Rodinson spent seven years teaching high school in Lebanon — I’d bet those kids came out bent. I’d love to see Rodinson and Samuel Huntington locked in a room. An intellectual steel cage death match. Probably could sell tickets and broadcast it on CSPAN (even I don’t think that they’re quite ready of pay-for-view). What did you say about clash of civilizations? Hats off to translator Brian Pearce.
    Rating: 4 / 5


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