Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is CLASSIC - and should be a mandatory read for every student of sociology. Unfortunately, the classic literature of sociology isn't emphasized enough in today's educational institutions. Students are entering the real world without the foundation of social prophets and coming up with their own ideas of "what the world is coming to," and taking credit for ideology that has long been debated and written down by masterminds such as Weber. Pay attention! What is this book really about? This is a revolutionary work discussing critically the causes and effects of sociological chance, and how the sociology of religion has changed meaning because of the philosophy we now base our ideas on. Anyone interested in postmodern theory, the iron cage of bureaucracy, rationalization, and even symbolic interactionism should read this before continuing to literature of modern sociological thought.
My spin is that Weber's work is helpful in that so many writers reference him that you need to know what he said in order to comprehend the point they're making. Having said that, I think Weber has some validity, but his sociological explanation of how socieites fuction is lacking.
He does not equate capitalism with greed. He explicitly states that and goes on to define a capitalistic economic action as "one which rests on the expectation of profit by the utilization of opportunities for exchange, that is on (formally) peaceful chances of profit."
Weber contends that "business leaders and owners of capital, as well as the higher grades of skilled labor, and even more the higher technically and commercially trained personnel of modern enterprises are overwhemingly Protestant." He goes on to discuss how the teachings of Calvinism bring this about. He talks about stewards on earth having heaven as an ultimate goal. This is a classic, thought provoking book.