BOOKS

The Industrial Revolutionaries

Gavin Weightman

RRP: £30.00

1 April 2008

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843545859

RRP: £20.00

9 August 2007

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843545842

International in its sweep, vivid in its execution and original in its argument, this ‘meticulous and fascinating’ (Guardian) account of the worldwide industrial revolution.

The ‘industrial revolution’ is most commonly presented as a history of machines or a relentless process of innovation springing out of the eighteenth century. But, as this vivid social history reminds us, machines are mere gadgets unless there are people to make good use of them.

In The Industrial Revolutionaries, Gavin Weightman charts of the spread of industrialism from Britain to Europe, North America and Japan, resurrecting many unsung pioneers from obscurity, and putting a few luminaries in their place. He interweaves accounts of the achievements of giants such as Trevithick, Wedgwood and Edison with lesser known characters who carried industrialism from one nation to another.

The Industrial Revolutionaries is a panoramic history, taking the reader from the ironworks of rural England to the emergence of the few great powers at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.