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The Sociological Tradition Paperback – January 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-1560006671 ISBN-10: 1560006676 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; New edition edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560006676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560006671
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996) was Albert Schweitzer Professor Emeritus of the Humanities at Columbia University. Some of his books include The Sociological Tradition, History of the Idea of Progress, and Metaphor and History.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to the development of the sociological tradition and is also recommended reading for anyone interested in nineteenth-century intellectual history. Nisbet's book would be an excellent complement to H. Stuart Hughes' CONCIOUSNESS AND SOCIETY and Raymond Williams' CULTURE AND SOCIETY: 1780-1950. Nisbet's book clarifies key concepts of nineteenth-century social thought without assuming (as Hughes does) that the reader is already fully versed in the works of the thinkers he examines.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nisbet's book (or virtually anything else he wrote) should be required reading for undergraduates taking introductory sociology courses, as he corrects much of the misguided politically correct nonsense which today calls itself 'sociology.' This is a deeply historically informed, intellectually sophisticated while still entirely readable and accessible (even to first-year college students) account of the context w/in which the first generation of sociological thinkers developed their theories of modernity. These thinkers had a very complex, ambivalent orientation to modernity and the fruits of the two revolutions (French and Industrial), and this is evident in the profundity and continued utility of their work. There was a time, not long ago, when the discipline of sociology produced a significant number of thinkers like Nisbet, who fully understood the intellectual history w/in which they were situated and were classically well-read. Sadly, that time seems gone now, and undergraduates have few Nisbets left to defend them (and honest intellectual inquiry) from the multitudes of ranting and ill-informed ideologues who want not to teach them, but only to convert them to the latest political crusade (be it Marxism, radical feminism, racial identity politics, queer activism, or some other, newer brand of radical politics masquerading as scholarship).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Gagnon on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ever want a solid and scholarly introduction to sociology, but have been turned off by the marxist tenor, and knee jerk leftism of all the sociology profs that were on your college campus? let alone the majors?

this book is fantastic. it follows the five main currents of "golden age" sociology- community, authority, status, the sacred, and alienation. he pays special attention to Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel. Mostly he uses Marx just to kick him around- which is great. or he uses Marx to point out how particularly dumb Rousseau was. Double great.

if you want access to the tool box of sociology, but from an honest academic with a conservative view of the field, pick up this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By william butler on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is no text book; maybe for a doctoral program but never for bachelors level reading. It is very hard for the reader to follow main points. The author uses intervening ideas within sentences that causes the reader to lose the purpose of the original thought and the author does this throughout the book. I simply stopped reading his side notes within sentences and would jump to his main point where he left off. Even doing this the reader would still need to have a thesaurus and a source to do historical research on the "thinkers" of sociology, as the author calls them because he only provides his views on what those historical figures thought and wrote. For a good sociology theory text book, read/study, "Social Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives (Contemporary Sociological Perspectives)", it is far superior and more interesting.
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