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Gavin Weightmans sweeping history of the industrial revolution shows how in less than one hundred and fifty years an unlikely band of scientists spies entrepreneurs and political refugees took a world made of wood and powered by animals wind and water and made it into something entirely new forged of steel and iron and powered by steam and fossil fuels Weightman weaves together the dramatic stories of giants such as Edison Watt Wedgwood and Daimler with lesser known or entirely forgotten characters including a group of Japanese samurai who risked their lives to learn the secrets of the West and John Iron Mad Wilkinson who didnt let war between England and France stop him from plumbing Paris Distilling complex technical achievements outlandish figures and daring adventures into an accessible narrative that spans the globe as industrialism spreads The Industrial Revolutionaries is a remarkable work of original engaging historyGavin Weightmans sweeping history of the industrial revolution shows how in less than one hundred and fifty years an unlikely band of scientists spies entrepreneurs and political refugees took a world made of wood and powered by animals wind and water and made it into something entirely new forged of steel and iron and powered by steam and fossil fuels Weightman weaves together the dramatic stories of giants such as Edison Watt Wedgwood and Daimler with lesser known or entirely forgotten characters including a group of Japanese samurai who risked their lives to learn the secrets of the West and John Iron Mad Wilkinson who didnt let war between England and France stop him from plumbing Paris Distilling complex technical achievements outlandish figures and daring adventures into an accessible narrative that spans the globe as industrialism spreads The Industrial Revolutionaries is a remarkable work of original engaging history


5 thoughts on “The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World 1776-1914

  1. says:

    In the days when patents were vague and engineering drawing was so bad it was child's play the only way technology could be transplanted was to entice the artisans abroad So the author tells his history through short lives of the pioneers and very entertaining it is tooAfter about the Great Exhibition the author discerns a fundamental shift where instead of a source of innovation Britain an archipelago of science and engineering produces innovation He keeps with the biographical format and follows various themes in the development of chemical mechanical and electrical advances through the lives of the inventors These lives were not easy For every Bessemer or Nobel who made fortunes there were a dozen who ended in the poor houseWeightman is agreeably opinionated and avoids that awful historian's twitch he she must have felt and gives a good kicking to some of his subjects Watt Morse and Edison in particular His choice of people should not be uestioned perhaps but some omissions are a bit odd No mention of the man who allowed Brunel to build his bridges by inventing concrete? No mention of reinforced concrete invented by a gardener; par for the course among this rogues' gallery? The machine age needed machines to be repaired Cue some standards so that parts initially just nuts and bolts could be exchanged Joseph Whitworth gets a one line mention on another subjectIf you had Workshop of the World as a set text you may feel you know enough about the period If you've slogged through the statistical tables of academic texts you may feel you know than enough But this is an entertaining complement good for the student and the amateur The author has a knack for concise technical explanation which makes the limited illustrations superfluousProbably not a classic but highly recommended


  2. says:

    A really good read easy to follow Introduces many characters that have been missed by history Provides a really good reason why and how things happened and flows really well This is a book that needs to be read to get a handle on how the industrial world really progressed Without any bias to any country Highly recommended


  3. says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book if your interested in the subject then I recommend you buy a copy It is not stuffy or hard to read like a lot of history books Weightman's writing style is very engaging and he adds relevant people to the text so the story flows from start to finish


  4. says:

    Well researchered and written absolute must for people that love abscure interesting trivia


  5. says:

    I bought this for my husband and he says a good book but nothing so a good buy for industrial fans