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The Industrial Revolution 1760-1830 [Paperback]

T. S. Ashton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 48.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 1 1997 0192892894 978-0192892898 New Edition
The Industrial Revolution has sometimes been regarded as a catastrophe which desecrated the English landscape and brought social opporession and appalling physical hardship to the workers. In this book, however, it is presented as an important and beneficial mark of progress. In spite of destructive wars and a rapid growth of population, the material living standards of most of the British people improved, and the technical innovations not only brought economic rewards but also provoked greater intellectual ingenuity. Innovation is therefore seen by Ashton not just as an economic course but as a social and cultural process influenced by factors such as war and peace and the framework of law and institutions. Lucidly argued and authoritative, this bookplaces the phenomenon of the Industrial Revolution in a stimulating perpsective. A new Preface by Professor Pat Hudson outlines the results of recent research precipitated by Ashton's themes: the true causes of population growth in the eighteenth century, the nature of the supply of capital, and the new approaches to labour studies amongst others. This Preface places The Industrial Revolution in its contemporary context, and a new thoroughly updated bibliography means that fifty years on, Ashton's work can continue to be of value to modern readers.

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?It is certainly rare . . . to find, as in Professor Ashton's work, a combination of neatly summarized research, lively humanity, stimulating generalization, bread-and-butter fact, and an unfailing sense of perspective, all embodied in prose of unmistakable, though entirely unpretentious, quality. It is a pleasure to be able to recommend a book, whether to the student or to the general reader, so entirely without reservation. . . . Few accounts of the great inventions leave the unmechanical reader with any genuine understanding of the problems and solutions involved. This one does.?-The Economist --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
First published in 1948, this book has gone through many editions, the latest, as we can see here, put out in 1998. I recently read the 1964 edition, picked up long ago at a booksale in Melbourne, Australia. Ashton's work is probably timeless. It is a down-to-earth, very well reasoned history of the various historical tendencies and phenomena that together are called "the industrial revolution". I cannot vouch for this volume being absolutely correct. The author does not have much time for those who dwell on the evils of industrialization, or who want to include class struggle in their analysis. Though I was not fully convinced of this, still I was willing to listen. Not being an expert in the field, I was looking for a decent explanation or summary of the whole process. I definitely got my money's worth in Ashton's book. It is well-written, without jargon and without presumption of vast historical knowledge on the part of the reader. It gives you an overview of such various fields as population growth, early forms of industry in England, the technical innovations, capital, banking, labor unions, conditions of workers, industrialists' clubs, and relation of agriculture to industry. Though I found the part about banks and interest rather rough going, it was entirely due to my own poor understanding of the field. My edition could have used a map. The shires, the rivers, and the many towns of England are not all imprinted firmly in the brains of North Americans. Other than that, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of the Industrial Revolution.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I can't believe I'm the first to write about this. I bought this a few years back while a graduate student in modern European history. My focus was primarily industrialization. This book is a joy. Ashton provides a thorough picture of the Revolution from several perspectives. He describes how events and developments built upon each other and how the innovators fed each others efforts. Most importantly, Ashton is a terrific writer. Other books on this and like topics can be as dry as the Sahara. Ashton is engaging and witty. This is not a book that requires a terrifically large committment. Even if you are not a student but simply interested in the topic, please read this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid, no-nonsense book about an important subject Oct. 12 1999
By Bob Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First published in 1948, this book has gone through many editions, the latest, as we can see here, put out in 1998. I recently read the 1964 edition, picked up long ago at a booksale in Melbourne, Australia. Ashton's work is probably timeless. It is a down-to-earth, very well reasoned history of the various historical tendencies and phenomena that together are called "the industrial revolution". I cannot vouch for this volume being absolutely correct. The author does not have much time for those who dwell on the evils of industrialization, or who want to include class struggle in their analysis. Though I was not fully convinced of this, still I was willing to listen. Not being an expert in the field, I was looking for a decent explanation or summary of the whole process. I definitely got my money's worth in Ashton's book. It is well-written, without jargon and without presumption of vast historical knowledge on the part of the reader. It gives you an overview of such various fields as population growth, early forms of industry in England, the technical innovations, capital, banking, labor unions, conditions of workers, industrialists' clubs, and relation of agriculture to industry. Though I found the part about banks and interest rather rough going, it was entirely due to my own poor understanding of the field. My edition could have used a map. The shires, the rivers, and the many towns of England are not all imprinted firmly in the brains of North Americans. Other than that, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of the Industrial Revolution.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply delightful to read as well as a thorough resource Dec 3 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can't believe I'm the first to write about this. I bought this a few years back while a graduate student in modern European history. My focus was primarily industrialization. This book is a joy. Ashton provides a thorough picture of the Revolution from several perspectives. He describes how events and developments built upon each other and how the innovators fed each others efforts. Most importantly, Ashton is a terrific writer. Other books on this and like topics can be as dry as the Sahara. Ashton is engaging and witty. This is not a book that requires a terrifically large committment. Even if you are not a student but simply interested in the topic, please read this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great History June 10 2009
By Thomas Grover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a well written and concise history of the Industrial Revolution then this book is for you. It provides a decent overview but little detail or analysis.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly clear, non-politically correct economic history July 30 2007
By B. Surkan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of essays on economic history pertaining to the Industrial Revolution. It is not a politically correct book, often turning traditional accepted beliefs about the industrial revolution on their heads. For example, one of the reasons why many poor families had dingy, windowless dwellings was the window tax charged by the government based on the number of windows in your house. Ventilation and health suffered as a result. Another example is the reason for the shoddy tenements built in the cities experiencing rapid industrial growth. Government rent and building regulations made it awkward to invest capital in housing. As a result, the cities that witnessed the greatest economic growth were often some of the least developed and regulated prior to the Industrial Revolution. In short, this is a well-researched economic history that suggests free markets and property rights as being central to the Industrial Revolution while demonstrating that the government regulations often made things worse for the working poor. If you like this, you'll enjoy books by Burton Folsom, like the Myth of the Robber Barons or Empire Builders.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Source for Research Papers! Oct. 2 2013
By Stacy Willett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written, easy to read, and a great, reliable source for any research paper on the English Industrial Revolution. My Mod. Euro Hist. professor said it was a very good source!
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