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The Industrial Revolution 1760-1830 Paperback – May 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Edition edition (May 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192892894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192892898
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,154,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

?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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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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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: 9 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
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.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
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
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
A GENERALLY "POSITIVE" PERSPECTIVE ON THIS CRUCIAL ERA Feb. 16 2012
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Thomas Southcliffe Ashton (1899-1968) was professor of economic history at the London School of Economics from 1944 until 1954, and also wrote the books An economic history of England: the 18th century, and Economic Fluctuations in England 1700-1800.

He notes that "It has often been observed that the growth of industry was connected historically with the rise of groups which dissented from the Church by law established in England." (Pg. 14)

He states that as with industries making us of "casual" labor today, "more people entered these trades than could be assured of regular work. Underemployment, rather than periodic unemployment, was the bane of the domestic worker." (Pg. 39)

Ashton points out that throughout the 18th century, it was customary for manufacturers to be paid for their goods as long as two years later; but with the speeding up of transport and communciations, "there was a tendency to shorten the accommodation." He adds, "A new sense of time was one of the outstanding psychological features of the industrial revolution." (Pg. 69)

When dealing with the question of child labor, Ashton cautions us, "The conduct of factory masters must be judged in the light of their own age and of that which preceded it," since we now have a standard of life "immeasurably higher" than theirs, and we place "a different value on child life." (Pg. 79)

He perceptively observes, "It is sometimes suggested that the presence of women in an industry has a humanizing effect on the men who work in it; but one would need to take a very optimistic view of the nature of man to believe that this was true of coal-mining." (Pg. 83)

After noting that not until "the whole apparatus of government has been drastically reformed and a body fo qualified public servants had been called into being could life in urban areas be other than squalid," Ashton summarizes, "If the industrial revolution was not able to bring its rewards in full measure to the ordinary man and woman it is to the defects of administrative, and not of economic processes, that the failure must be ascribed." (Pg. 97)

Ashton's book is an intriguing and persuasive perspecive on this controversial period.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.


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