“Anyone with a passing interest in economic history will thoroughly enjoy” this account of how industry transformed the world (The Seattle Times).
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.
This “entertaining and informative” account 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 didn’t let war between England and France stop him from plumbing Paris (The Wall Street Journal).
“Integrating lively biography with technological clarity, Weightman converts the Industrial Revolution into an enjoyably readable period of history.” —Booklist
“Skillfully stitching together thumbnail sketches of a large number of inventors, architects, engineers, and visionaries. . . . Weightman expertly marshals his cast of characters across continents and centuries, forging a genuinely global history that brings the collaborative, if competitive, business of industrial innovation to life.” —The New York Times Book Review