Romantic Ethic Reviews

The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism:

Reviews of the First Edition

Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES)
`Campbell’s book is a book of exhilarating complexity. The excitement and novelty of the argument carries the reader…and one must admire the breadth of his reading not only in sociology but in theology, philosophy, aesthetics, literature and cultural history…He paints with a necessarily broad brush, but his picture comes vividly alive. It will stimulate much critical debate and it is intended as a compliment to conclude that it thoroughly deserves to.’
Political Quarterly
`It is to Campbell’s great credit that he traverses this hazardous (often treacherous) terrain with great acumen. It would be a pity to give the impression in this review that Campbell’s book is no more than an exceptionally erudite historical study. It is that and much more besides…Chapter 5 in particular is a brilliant piece of socio-psychological analysis.’
Sociological Analysis
`An elegant and sophisticated essay…a powerful and profound study in cultural and historical sociology. In current discussion about modernity and post-modernity this lucid and engaging essay should be essential reading…His essay should serve as a model for us all.’
Work, Employment and Society
‘It’s impossible to do justice to the complexity and sophistication of Campbell’s argument in this short review…The strengths and weaknesses of his new account are precisely those of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Campbell’s argument is the better documented of the two essays…Suffice it to say that (his) extension of Weber’s argument deserves no less consideration than the original.’
Designers Journal
`When Ernst Gombrich published Art and Illusion artists said that it was all very interesting , but of course they had known it all already. They just hadn’t got round to turning it into a major work of seminal importance. The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism will be met with similar reactions, but that should not disguise its importance for designers and design theory.’
Journal of Retailing
`The book is a masterpiece of synthetic analysis and writing; the author successfully weaves together a wide assortment of ideas from several disciplines …Only the true Renaissance person would comprehend all these ideas on a first reading: indeed the experience of reading this book will move the reader a long way down that path. Without doubt it is a truly scholarly effort worthy of serious attention by all marketing scholars.’
Journal of Marketing
`Such is the range of scholarship that a complete review of the text would require the talents of a sociologist of religion, an economic historian, an historian of ideas and an anthropologist as well as a consumer researcher. This book should have a place on every syllabus in consumer behaviour theory…as a basic for a theory of consumer behaviour Campbell provides a model superior in descriptive and predictive power to the prevailing utilitarian paradigms.’

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