Our understanding of modern capitalism is deeply indebted to the German sociological tradition, and to none more deeply than Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart, and Max Weber. Notwithstanding their significant disagreements, all four thinkers conceived the origin and distinctive nature of modern capitalism by reference to Jews and Judaism. Chad Alan Goldberg sets out the specific habits of thought shared by these thinkers, uncovers the historical basis (unconscious and repressed) upon which they rested, and shows how these habits of thought extend into the present.

Chad Alan Goldberg (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Aliza Luft (UCLA)

About the Speaker: Chad Alan Goldberg is a professor of sociology affiliated with the Center for German and European Studies, the George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, and the George L. Mosse Program in History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He specializes in comparative-historical and political sociology as well as social theory. His first book, Citizens and Paupers: Relief, Rights, and Race, from the Freedmen’s Bureau to Workfare (University of Chicago Press, 2007), won the Outstanding Book Award from the Theory Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and received honorable mention for the Barrington Moore Book Award from the American Sociological Association in 2010. His second book, Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought (University of Chicago Press, 2017), was selected as a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Awards in the category of Modern Jewish Thought and Experience.


Sady & Ludwig Kahn Lecture Series in German Jewish Studies

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Sociology
UCLA Department of History
UCLA Department of Germanic Studies
UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies