A Reconsideration of Werner Sombart’s "Luxury and Capitalism"

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Werner Sombart’s classic text "Luxury and Capitalism" is revisited in the light of recent economic historians’ works that have analyzed luxury’s role in the development of capitalism. Most of these works, as well as Sombart’s book itself, are focused on the eighteenth century, since it was then that the proliferation—and availability—of luxury manifested itself for the first time most conspicuously. By employing secondary texts by economic historians and primary sources from the debates on luxury in the eighteenth century—some of which overlooked by a number of historians—the essay attempts a renewed outlook on a text that was controversial when written over a century ago and remains a prominent argument in the eternal discussion and dispute on the cause(s) of the rise of capitalism.
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Archival date: 2019-09-16
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The Spirit of Luxury.Armitage, John & Roberts, Joanne

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