• The Bourgeois Virtues

  • Ethics for an Age of Commerce
  • By: Deirdre N. McCloskey
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 23 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-13-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (17 ratings)

Regular price: $24.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $24.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Add to Library for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

For a century and a half, the artists and intellectuals of Europe have scorned the bourgeoisie. And for a millennium and a half, the philosophers and theologians of Europe have scorned the marketplace. The bourgeois life, capitalism, Mencken's "booboisie", and David Brooks's "bobos" all have been, and still are, framed as being responsible for everything from financial to moral poverty, world wars, and spiritual desuetude. Countering these centuries of assumptions and unexamined thinking is Deirdre McCloskey's The Bourgeois Virtues, a magnum opus that offers a radical view: capitalism is good for us.
McCloskey's sweeping, charming, and even humorous survey of ethical thought and economic realities - from Plato to Barbara Ehrenreich - overturns every assumption we have about being bourgeois. Can you be virtuous and bourgeois? Do markets improve ethics? Has capitalism made us better as well as richer? Yes, yes, and yes, argues McCloskey, who takes on centuries of capitalism's critics with her erudition and sheer scope of knowledge. Applying a new tradition of "virtue ethics" to our lives in modern economies, she affirms American capitalism without ignoring its faults and celebrates the bourgeois lives we actually live, without supposing that they must be lives without ethical foundations.
High Noon, Kant, Bill Murray, the modern novel, van Gogh, and of course economics and the economy all come into play in an audiobook that can only be described as a monumental project and a life's work. The Bourgeois Virtues is nothing less than a dazzling reinterpretation of Western intellectual history, and a dead-serious reply to the critics of capitalism.
©2007 Deirdre N. McCloskey (P)2016 Gildan Media LLC
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Benzion N. Chinn on 04-24-18

An Important Follow Up for Anyone Reading Ayn Rand

What other book might you compare The Bourgeois Virtues to and why?

What McCloskey offers is a virtue ethics defense of capitalism. This is very similar to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy in books such as Atlas Shrugged. The advantage of McCloskey is that she is able to capture the heroic nature of free enterprise without some of Rand's baggage. For example, when reading Atlas Shrugged it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the story is an apology for greed and being a sociopath. In truth, if you are paying attention, none of Rand's heroes are actually motivated by money or personal material benefit. Part of the problem is Rand's self-inflicted wound of praising "selfishness" even though, for her, that word means something very different from how it is usually used. Rand was an explicit virtue ethicist and saw capitalism as having an inherent moral value, regardless of its ability to improve anyone's life. Engaging in the process of market exchanges teach a person to not want something they have not earned. Furthermore, a person learns to value creativity in oneself as well as in other people.

For those intrigued by this model of capitalist virtue ethics, McCloskey offers a wider historical context for such a position. In contrast to Rand's atheist materialism, McCloskey connects capitalism to the "Christian" virtues of faith, hope, and charity as opposed to mere prudence. Just in case anyone is turned off by the Christian material in the book, there are also numerous references to Jewish sources.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars
By booklover on 03-14-18

I Can't Wait to Read the Other Volumes

Beautifully written, wonderful breadth and depth, narrator a pleasure to listen to. I can't wait for the rest of the series.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews