The American sociologist Talcott Parsons was often accused of being an overly abstract, even apolitical thinker, remote in Harvard's ivory tower. Uta Gerhardt dispels this image in her fascinating account of the political nature of Parsons's life and scholarship. Gerhardt depicts Parsons as a champion of American society and democracy. In this respect he followed the lead of his venerable mentor, Max Weber. Parsons's work, Gerhardt argues, was driven by an overriding agenda to develop a sociological understanding and defense of the development of modern democracy.
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