The Industrial Revolution is one of the most important and most researched events in human history. While it did not invent progress, the Industrial Revolution radically accelerated trends that were already in existence and broadened it to encompass far more peoples. Without it, the modern world would be impossible.
I recommend that you read these book summaries in the following order:
- “Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850” by Joel Mokyr
- “The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective” by Robert Allen
- “Creating the Twentieth Century” by Vaclav Smil
- “Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World” by Deirdre McCloskey
- “The Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution” by Rick Szostak
- “Tools for the Job: A Short History of Machine Tools” by LTC Rolt
- “Energy and the English Industrial Revolution” by E. A. Wrigley
- “Networked Machinists: High-Technology Industries in Antebellum America” by David Meyer
- “Was the Industrial Revolution Inevitable?” by Charles Jones
If there is a book that you find particularly interesting, please support the author by buying the book. For long-term historical reasons, why the Industrial Revolution took place in Europe, see the “Why Did Europe Got Rich First?” Learning Path.