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The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Creation Of The Modern World 1776 1914

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Published by Atlantic (first published 2007)
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Took me long enough, but I finished this book. This book is probably the best general history of the Industrial Revolution I have read. With a particular emphasis on the development of technology by individuals and the spread of industry around the world, Weightman looks at the rise of industry in Great Britain, the United States, Japan, and Germany, and how various political, economic, and social reasons for the spread of industry. Extremely well researched and detailed, the book covers everyth ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only the sheer scope of the industrial revolution prevents this book from being a 5-star read in the end. The author tries to cover too many inventors, too many failed inventions, and too many false starts, in the effort to explode the myths (Edison wasn't much of an inventor, James Watt didn't invent the steam engine after seeing a tea kettle boil, and so on) and celebrate the victories of Victorian invention. But what is here is marvelous, if chaotic, and you come away with an appreciation of ...more
Aug 08, 2010 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gavin Weightman is no James Burke. This is no smoothly flowing history presentation. Having said that it suffers from few syntax errors, rather mostly clumsiness of expression, and a certain inability to moderate tone of importance. Hence the value of the information presented, which is significant, must be dug out with care and diligence rather like carrying on a conversation with a talking computer or one who suffers from some forms of autism. I should be tempted to say I have read better writ ...more
C.H. Cobb
Weightman has written an interesting account of the genesis of the modern industrial world. I enjoy history, and this book did not disappoint. I was reading it as research for book two of my Outlander Chronicles series, and I was looking for the kinds of problems and setbacks experienced in the world of steam. It was helpful for that, and also for the advances and issues in smelting iron ore, and processing iron and steel.

I'm not going to attempt a thorough review here, but some of the pros of t
David Thornber
Jan 01, 2016 David Thornber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bring to life the people who made things happen. Moved along quickly enough to be entertaining without getting bogged down on one thing. I thought the details were well researched and correct.
J.M. Hushour
Feb 23, 2013 J.M. Hushour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me, a welcome non-academic, jargoncrap work of history, this one focusing on how "inventors" of things (Watt, Edison, etc.) were actually full of crap and were merely innovators on ideas that other people had had. The Industrial Revolution was about the creative spirit? Hogwash, says Weightman. These assholes just wanted to make some cash! That aside, this is an entertaining and light look at how things like steel, light bulbs, and bicycles (that part was great!) came about. There are some go ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Rena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Some points were very interesting while others were pretty bland. I'm not much of a history person. This entire book is minibiographies of people who were prominent in the advancement of technology. Some were great because they talked about things that I personally found very interesting. Others were for things that I either already knew about or did not particularly found intriguing. Allinall, it rounded itself out in the end.
Ian Muttoo
Feb 07, 2016 Ian Muttoo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! Recommended.
Patrick Andersen
Good high level overview of the industrial revolution. Doesn't burrow down into specifics of how any particular innovation works which is frustrating to the technically minded but might be better for the casual reader. The flow was challenging; a particular individual would be followed about until he bumped into another important individual, then we get to learn his life story up until the junction, then the narrative goes forward.

More than a half dozen typos, which looks poorly on the editor mo
Aug 20, 2014 G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing compilation history. Lots of names and places gets both dry and confusing at times. Chapters can easily be read separately to learn about a particular industry.
Daniel Kukwa
I very much enjoyed this work's writing's a smooth, fascinating & pleasant read. It also assumes some reader knowledge of the industrial revolution, and therefore dispenses with what could be long & tedious exposition for beginners. However, it's organization & structure tends to be very loose. It tries for a vague, chronological order, but it does tend to go off on tangents a bit too often for my taste.
Matt Erickson
Aug 18, 2014 Matt Erickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I already love this book. Very well researched. this is the authoritative work on the industrial revolution. It gives names and ties them to today, "Promoters of railways.. were just as important to their establishment as the people who built them." As the book states, the narrative stops in 1914, "all the essentials are by then in place." I feel transported to some machine museum in britain by reading.
Dec 08, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gavin is referred to as a Social Historian. Although I think of him more of a technology historian. this is the type of history that I am enjoying most of late.

Sarah Smith
This book did a great job of showing me how the Industrial Revolution was actually a series of people thinking, "How could I improve this? How I could I make this aspect of life easier?" It was very interesting, especially the part of how Japan opened up its borders to trade again.
Well written overview of American, European, and Japanese economic and industrial development, starting with British history. The accomplishments of the various business people and inventors can however blur together sometimes, as there as so many of them.
Mar 15, 2013 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It was OK. It read like a jumble of Whose Who in Industrial Era inventors rather than a discussion of history, until the end where some insight was provided. I think it could have been done better.
I'm glad I read this book, but I'm also glad to be done with it! It was interesting, but it was also dry at times. History is important, though, so I don't regret reading this book.
Sarah Harkness
May 07, 2013 Sarah Harkness rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nelly
I loved this book, just the right combination of fact and good stories. Well written, I would have liked more of it!
Patricrk patrick
Jun 12, 2009 Patricrk patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Quite interesting to see what the real story was in the massive change that ushered in modern life.
Sep 15, 2009 Doug rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
after 2 chapters I was bored to tears, couldn't read anymore.
William Gibson
Jun 18, 2012 William Gibson is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A completely different perspective on the period
Dec 07, 2014 Jose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good source of information.
Inovation is wonderful.
Dec 14, 2009 Aika is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book tackles every single detail or thing during the start of the industrial development in England
Judy Dawson
Judy Dawson marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2016
Tim Sharp
Tim Sharp marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2016
J.S. Farland
J.S. Farland rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Martin marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2016
Tyler marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2016
Andrew French
Andrew French marked it as to-read
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