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Iron, Steam & Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution [Paperback]

Roger Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 May 2014

In late eighteenth-century Britain a handful of men brought about the greatest transformation in human history. Inventors, industrialists and entrepreneurs ushered in the age of powered machinery and the factory, and thereby changed the whole of human society, bringing into being new methods of social and economic organisation, new social classes, and new political forces. The Industrial Revolution also dramatically altered humanity's relation to the natural world and embedded the belief that change, not stasis, is the necessary backdrop for human existence.

Iron, Steam and Money tells the thrilling story of those few decades, the moments of inspiration, the rivalries, skulduggery and death threats, and the tireless perseverance of the visionaries who made it all happen. Richard Arkwright, James Watt, Richard Trevithick and Josiah Wedgwood are among the giants whose achievements and tragedies fill these pages. In this authoritative study Roger Osborne also shows how and why the revolution happened, revealing pre-industrial Britain as a surprisingly affluent society, with wealth spread widely through the population, and with craft industries in every town, village and front parlour. The combination of disposable income, widespread demand for industrial goods, and a generation of time-served artisans created the unique conditions that propelled humanity into the modern world.

The industrial revolution was arguably the most important episode in modern human history; Iron, Steam and Money reminds us of its central role, while showing the extraordinary excitement of those tumultuous decades.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico (22 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184595212X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845952129
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Ably handling a mass of material, Osborne explores both the technological side of his subject and its human aspect" (Christopher Smith UK Regional Press Syndication)

"Osborne fires [the Industrial Revolution] up with great gusto" (Iain Finlayson The Times)

"Detailed and scholarly" (Steve Craggs UK Regional Press Syndication)

"A truly rattling good yarn" (Jonathan Glancey Country Life)

"Detailed and scholarly" (UK Regional Press Syndication)

Book Description

A fresh look at the decades when British ingenuity and technological innovation changed the course of human history and ushered in the modern world.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The creation of a virtuous circle 21 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific read which tells of the the effective invention of a perpetual motion machine - the inventive modern industrial economy - and the cycle of continuous innovation which commenced in the mid 18th century and has carried on to the present day. Read this book and you really will appreciate how the Newcomen Engine has led to the iPhone.

The book explains how key technological breakthroughs such as Abraham Darby's coke fuelled Blast Furnace led to increased demand for coal, which led to deeper mines, which led to a need for pumping equipment, which led to the Newcomen Engine, which led to the genius of James Watt, which led to a need for rotary power which led to factories being liberated from water supplies, and so on and so forth.

Combine this with the shift from a wool economy to a cotton economy - made entirely possible by the Flying Shuttle, the Spinning Jenny, the Mule and you can see how the world changed.

I couldnt put this book down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and very interesting! 26 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am using this book for my essay writing at the university college in Norway. The topic for my essay is The industrial revolution and the British Empire and the connections between them. I am also looking into the genious and timeless work of engineer Isambard Brunel.

The book provides the reader with lots of interesting details abiut the industrial revolution. It is also beautifully illustrated with black and white drawings and pictures and is a plesure to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory Account of the Industrial Revolution 16 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a combination of lucid accounts of the most important technological and organisational developments of the industrial revolution with clear-sighted analysis of the macro-economics of why it happened in 18th-century Britain, this is the book for you. The book also examines the contribution of prominent individuals in the context of the world in which they operated and considers both the benefits and the human costs for the people at large. It is particularly well written and easy to read given the complexity of some of the subject matter. The idea that Britain's high wages were a key factor in rapid economic growth and stimulated both demand and innovation might be a useful reflection for modern policy makers.
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6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good survey 11 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed this, for it is an account of the background to the Industrial Revolution. The bibliography os comprehensive, as are the end-notes.
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