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The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages Hardcover – 1976

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1st ed edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030146364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030146367
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,295,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 14 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gimpel provides a classic study of the technology of the Middle Ages. The Industrial Revolution is associated with innovation and invention, but ingenuity and science had not suddenly been discovered. Gimpel looks at the inventiveness of the medieval mind, its rediscovery and application of older methods. He explores the social and economic demands and consequences of technology. An essential read for any writer trying to capture the mood of the times and dispel myths that this was some fantasy age of religion and magic but no science or engineering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Gilbert on 16 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an authoritative account of a period in history that is largely unknown or understood. Most historians place their emphasis on the social aspects of the time, but this well researched book presents a picture from the technological point of view. Absolutely fascinating!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 14 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gimpel provides a classic study of the technology of the Middle Ages. The Industrial Revolution is associated with innovation and invention, but ingenuity and science had not suddenly been discovered. Gimpel looks at the inventiveness of the medieval mind, its rediscovery and application of older methods. He explores the social and economic demands and consequences of technology. An essential read for any writer trying to capture the mood of the times and dispel myths that this was some fantasy age of religion and magic but no science or engineering.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easily the best history book I've ever read. Looks of interesting facts. If you are interested in the gritty detail of the medieval era then this is fantastic.
It is not casual reading because it is fact dense. I found myself rationing it. I only allowed myself a chapter a week just so it soaked in.
Each chapter is on a very different topic. So one chapter was about the deforestation caused by dependency on wood. Another chapter was about the legal games mill owners played with water-level in the rivers and so on.
If you are North American, skip the last chapter which tries to draw parallels between a declining medieval France and a declining modern United States.
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