Author(s): Joel Mokyr
Why did Western countries become so much wealthier than the rest of the world? And what explains the huge rise in incomes during the Industrial Revolution - and why did Britain lead the way? In the years between the Glorious Revolution and the Great Exhibition, the British economy was transformed. Joel Mokyr's landmark history offers a wholly new perspective for understanding Britain's extraordinary rise during the Industrial Revolution, showing how intellectual, rather than material, forces were the driving force behind it. While empire, trade, resources and other factors all played a part, above all it was the creative ferment of the Enlightenment - with its belief in progress and scientific advancement - that affected the economic behaviour of thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs and artisans, taking Britain into the modern era. Linking ideas and beliefs to the heart of modern economic growth, "The Enlightened Economy" will transform the way we view the Industrial Revolution.
He buttresses his argument with deep knowledge of the times and massive scholarship. Everyone interested in history should read this great work. -- George A. Akerlof University of California at Berkeley A great economic historian gives us a sweeping perspective on a pivotal period of history: Britain during the Industrial Revolution. Tracing a long series of economic innovations and political reforms back to the ideas of the Enlightenment, Joel Mokyr shows us the foundations of the modern world. -- Roger B. Myerson University of Chicago Mokyr utilises deep knowledge of technological and industrial history, often narrated at the level of the individual inventor, thinker, factory owner or craftsman...[He] narrates brilliantly a rich story of modern economic growth... Mokyr has made a deeply impressive contribution. -- David Greasley BBC History This is a large, learned and challenging book ... [which] anyone interested in history and the current economy needs to read -- Maxine Berg TLS
Joel Mokyr is the author of several major works of economic history, including The Lever of Riches (1992) and The Gifts of Athena (2002). He teaches at Northwestern University and at Tel Aviv University.