From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution. Over the course of 36 thought-provoking lectures, longtime Great Courses favorite Professor Allitt introduces you to the inventors, businessmen, and workers responsible for transforming virtually every aspect of our lives and fueling one of the greatest periods of innovation in human history.
The technological achievements of this era are nothing short of astonishing. Thanks to inventions such as the steam engine and processes such as large-scale iron smelting, industrial entrepreneurs were able to mechanize labor, which allowed for a host of new efficiencies such as division of labor, mass production, and global distribution.
You'll discover the science behind some of the most astounding inventions in modern history, including the spinning jenny, the incandescent light bulb, and the computer processor. You'll learn how these inventions came about and consider what effects these technologies had on every aspect of human life.
Get an inside look at the history of industrial innovation and explore the lives of engineers, inventors, architects, and designers responsible for changing the world - as well as ordinary workers who lost their livelihoods to new technologies and suffered from unsafe working conditions. The story of the Industrial Revolution is complex, and these lectures will leave you with a new appreciation for the amazing human achievements all around us.
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The story of human progress through technology
Incredibly entertaining, balanced, comprehensive
This was a spectacularly well-researched, comprehensive and entertaining look at what has arguably been most important driving force of modern history. Patrick Allitt beautifully balances this tour of the big picture forces and trends that drove massive societal change with the fascinating personal stories of many, many individuals who played pivotal roles in driving these changes in their respective societies (the focus is appropriately first on Great Britain and then shifts to the people and parallel developments in the U.S. and other parts of the world).
I listened to this course immediately after finishing another of The Great Courses called Big History (also very highly recommended). It was the perfect follow-up, as that title puts the human Industrial Revolution in perspective as the latest era in a 13 billion year trend of increasing complexity in our universe. But that's another course..
I have listened to 4 or 5 of Professor Allitt's courses from The Great Courses series and they are all uniformly excellent. He gifted both as a scholar and as a storyteller. Highly recommended. 5 Stars!