The Anthem Companion to Raymond Aron

The Anthem Companion to Raymond Aron

Edited by Joachim Stark & Christopher Adair-Toteff

Anthem Companions to Sociology

Raymond Aron is an exceptional figure among twentieth-century sociological and political thinkers. The book focuses on the sociological work of this author of the century, who analyzed his age both in its grand-scale political and socio-economic traits and in the complex social and political ramifications of its day-to-day life.

Hardback, 214 Pages


December 2021

£120.00, $195.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

Raymond Aron is an exceptional figure among twentieth-century sociological and political thinkers. The book focuses on the sociological work of this author of the century, who analyzed his age both in its grand-scale political and socio-economic traits and in the complex social ramifications of its day-to-day life.

Aron experts from a total of seven countries examine Aron’s sociology in detail starting with his road from philosophy to sociology not least under the impression of the Great Depression and its aftermath, especially the rise of National Socialism in Germany. His epistemological studies on the limits of objective knowledge in history and the social sciences in which he moves away from Durkheim's approach and instead adopts Max Weber's sociology of understanding are analysed. This acknowledgment of the limits of knowledge laid the foundations for Aron’s liberalism and humanism. His sociology of industrial society as an economy of economic growth in its market economy and planned economy versions, its social stratification, his criticism of the Marxist concept of social class, the structure of the ruling elites and the pluralistic and one-party, totalitarian political regimes are presented, as is Aron's analysis of the dialectic of modern society between the idea of equality and the authority structures in the state and the economic process. This is accompanied by Aron's lifelong criticism of those intellectuals above all in the pluralist and liberal democracies who hope that a messianic ideology will abolish all social contradictions. Aron’s sociology of international relations in the age of industrial society and globalization, which for Aron brought about the dawn of universal history, complete the overview of Raymond Aron's sociological work.


The Anthem Companions to Sociology offers wide ranging and masterly overviews of the works of major sociologists. The volumes in the series provide authoritative and critical appraisals of key figures in modern social thought. These books, written and edited by leading figures, are essential additional reading on the history of sociology. — Gerard Delanty, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex, Brighton

This ambitious series provides an intellectually thoughtful introduction to the featured social theorists and offers a comprehensive assessment of their legacy. Each edited collection synthesizes the many dimensions of the respective theorist’s contributions and sympathetically ponders the various nuances in and the broader societal context for their body of work. The series will be appreciated by seasoned scholars and students alike. — Michele Dillon, Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, University of New Hampshire

The orchestration and emergence of the Anthem Companions to Sociology represent a formidable and invaluable achievement. Each companion explores the scope, ingenuity, and conceptual subtleties of the works of a theorist indispensable to the sociological project. The editors and contributors for each volume are the very best in their fields, and they guide us towards the richest, most creative seams in the writings of their thinker. The results, strikingly consistent from one volume to the next, brush away the years, reanimate what might have been lost, and bring numerous rays of illumination to the most pressing challenges of the present. — Rob Stones, Professor of Sociology, Western Sydney University, Australia

The Anthem Companions, those that have appeared already and those that are to come, will give every sociologist a handy and authoritative guide to all the giants of their discipline. — Stephen Mennell, Professor Emeritus, University College Dublin

Each volume of the Anthem Companions to Sociology examines comprehensively not only a theorist’s distinct approach and unique contributions, but also situates each in reference to the major parameters of mainstream theoretical schools and traditions. This remarkable Series in addition throws into high relief the singular features of modern societies. It promises to set the standard for discussions of Sociology’s long-term development and belongs on the shelves of every social scientist.— Stephen Kalberg, Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Boston University 

This valuable series covers both familiar figures in the history of sociology (such as Max Weber and, prospectively, Marx and Durkheim) and less often treated ones such as Arendt and Troeltsch who are also highly relevant to sociology, broadly conceived. In these books, leading scholars explore important but often neglected aspects of their subjects’ work. — William Outhwaite, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Newcastle University, UK

Author Information

Joachim Stark is a sociologist, political scientist and art historian. He has published books and numerous articles in scientific journals on Raymond Aron.

Christopher Adair-Toteff is a philosopher and social theorist. His recent book includes Raymond Aron’s Philosophy of Political Responsibility (2019).


Anthem Companions to Sociology

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Retracing Aron’s Routes to Sociology, Joachim Stark; Chapter One The Subject, Pluralism and Équité : Raymond Aron and Sociology, Joachim Stark; Chapter Two Aron, Weber and Nationalism, Christopher Adair-Toteff; Chapter Three Equivocal and Inexhaustible: Aron, Marx and Marxism, Scott B. Nelson; Chapter Four The Opium of the Intellectuals, Leslie Marsh and Nathan Cockram; Chapter Five A New Era in the Human Adventure: Industrial Society and Economic Growth, Scott B. Nelson and Joachim Stark; Chapter Six Raymond Aron: La lutte de classes, Alessandro Campi; Chapter Seven Political Philosophy Meets Political Sociology: Raymond Aron on Democracy and Totalitarianism, Daniel J. Mahoney; Chapter Eight The Contradictions of Prometheus: Wisdom and Action after the Disillusionment of Progress, Giulio De Ligio; Chapter Nine The International Problem and the Question of the Best Political Regime, Frédéric Cohen; Chapter Ten War and Irrationality: Aron and Pareto, Alan Sica; Conclusion: Aron on Liberty, Christopher Adair-Toteff; Notes on Contributors; Index.


No Podcasts for this title.
Comodo SSL