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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on society
We live in a factory-made world: modern life is built on three centuries of advances in factory production, efficiency, and technology. But giant factories have also fueled our fears about the future since their beginnings, when William Blake called them "dark Satanic mills". Many factories that operated over the last two centuries - such as Homestead, River Rouge, and Foxconn - were known for the labor exploitation and class warfare they engendered, not to mention the environmental devastation caused by factory production from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution up to today.
In a major work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares of industrialization and social change. He whisks listeners from the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution and the factory towns of New England to the colossal steel and car plants of 20th-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union and on to today's behemoths making sneakers, toys, and cellphones in China and Vietnam.
The giant factory, Freeman shows, led a revolution that transformed human life and the environment. He traces arguments about factories and social progress through such critics and champions as Marx and Engels, Charles Dickens, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Ford, and Joseph Stalin. He chronicles protests against standard industry practices from unions and workers' rights groups that led to shortened workdays, child labor laws, protection for organized labor, and much more.
In Behemoth, Freeman also explores how factories became objects of great wonder that both inspired and horrified artists and writers in their time. He examines representations of factories in the work of Charles Sheeler, Margaret Bourke-White, Charlie Chaplin, Diego Rivera, and Edward Burtynsky.
Behemoth tells the grand story of global industry from the Industrial Revolution to the present. It is a magisterial work on factories and the people whose labor made them run. And it offers a piercing perspective on how factories have shaped our societies and the challenges we face now.
©2018 Joshua B. Freeman (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Jeff Jarvis on 03-16-18

Terrible reading: overdone and wrong!

What disappointed you about Behemoth?

From the very first line, I was shouting at my speakers. The book begins with a quote from Karl Marx and the performer decides to read this with an accent -- for no good reason whatsover--and then make it worse by giving Karl Marx a Russian accent! He's German, for God's sake. The audio is sloppy with overlapping inserts left in. The performance is unbearable. God bless Audible for allowing returns.

How could the performance have been better?

Different performer!

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4 out of 5 stars
By J. R. Valery on 03-13-18

No fake accents, please

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Probably not. It is really hard to put up with fake accents, especially by readers who have foreign accents. Terrible choice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Behemoth?

Unfortunately, the fake accents.

What didn’t you like about Stephen Bowlby’s performance?

The fake accents kill an otherwise excellent reading voice and pace.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The fake accents

Any additional comments?

Fake acdents can be downright offensive.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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