The Industrial Revolution in World History / Edition 4

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 67%)
Est. Return Date: 07/22/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $23.56
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 41%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $23.56   
  • New (10) from $34.02   
  • Used (7) from $23.56   


The industrial revolution was the single most important development in human history over the past three centuries, and it continues to shape the contemporary world. With new methods and organizations for producing goods, industrialization altered where people live, how they play, and even how they define political issues. By exploring the ways the industrial revolution reshaped world history, this book offers a unique look into the international factors that started the industrial revolution and its global spread and impact.

In the fourth edition, noted historian Peter N. Stearns continues his global analysis of the industrial revolution with new discussions of industrialization outside of the West, including the study of India, the Middle East, and China. In addition, an expanded conclusion contains an examination of the changing contexts of industrialization. The Industrial Revolution in World History is essential for students of world history and economics, as well as for those seeking to know more about the global implications of what is arguably the defining socioeconomic event of modern times.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this new edition Peter Stearns updates and refines his authoritative account of industrialization's global spread and impacts. This concise and highly readable account remains a very suitable introduction for non-specialists.”
David Northrup, Boston College

“The provocative questions, wide-ranging geography, attention to individuals as well as groups and updated chapters ensure Stearns will remain the outstanding single volume covering the industrial revolutions. Like its subject, The Industrial Revolution in World History has continued to evolve. This fourth edition will continue to challenge students to analyze the effects of industrialization and modernization on the local, regional, national, and global levels for the future as well as the present and past.”
Jonathan Coopersmith, Texas A&M University

Praise for Previous Editions

“Skillfully places the industrial revolution in world perspective and discusses its global rippling effect.”
The Historian

“An impressive survey of the spread of industrialization from the beginnings of that process in the United Kingdom and northwest Europe to much of the rest of the globe, with an emphasis on the social consequences of that continuous change…Stearns compressed all this with rich prose and exceptional clarity.”
History: Reviews of New Books

“Sets forth the high standards and ingenuity of thought one comes to expect from a master scholar…In a most economical but engaging fashion, this interpretative essay goes forth to weave an illuminating tapestry tracing the industrial revolution from its origins in 18th century Britain to …the 21st century.”
Labor History

“The spread of the book is excellent. Many countries totally overlooked in most books get treatment here…Stearns’s approach completely integrates the social changes that resulted from the industrial revolution…This book would serve as an excellent text in an introductory course on the industrial revolution or as a supplemental text for a general history course from 1800 on. It is well written, easily accessible to general readers, and presupposes no technical background for the reader.”

“Though a number of important comparative studies have appeared on industrialization, none begins to match the range of cases or the extent of the time span covered in this fine overview of one of the central processes in modern world history. Peter Stearns combines an astute analysis of the permutations in the pattern of industrialization as it spread from Great Britain across the globe with a lively discussion of its often quite varied cultural, social, and political effects in different societies.”
Michael Adas, Rutgers University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813347295
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 566,893
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter N. Stearns is provost and professor of history at George Mason University. He is the editor of the Journal of Social History and the author or editor of more than 115 books, including World Civilizations: The Global Experience and World History in Brief: Major Patterns of Change and Continuity.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction: Defining the Industrial Revolution 1

Technology and Work Organization 6

Issues in Interpretation 8

The Range of the Industrial Revolution 11

Chronology and Geography 14

Part 1 The First Phase, 1760-1880 Western Primacy, Global Contexts, and Global Results

1 Britain's Revolution: New Processes and Economic Transformation 21

Britain Becomes the Workshop of the World 26

Industrialization Exacts a Price 32

Change Generates Change 37

2 New Causes: Why Did the Industrial Revolution Happen, and Why Did It Happen in Eighteenth-Century Britain? 41

Three Approaches: Minimal, Western, and Global 45

Trigger: Why the Eighteenth Century? 47

Britain as a Special Case 48

3 The Industrial Revolution in Western Society 53

France: An Eclectic Course 57

Germany: Trend to Big Business 60

The United States: Dynamism of a New Nation 61

The Industrial West by the 1880s 66

4 The Social Impact of the Industrial Revolution 69

Life on the Job 70

Forging the Industrial Family 74

Social Divisions and Protest 81

A New Political and Cultural Context 87

5 The Industrial Revolution Outside the West 89

Pilot Projects: Russia 89

Pilot Projects: Asia, Latin America, and Africa 93

India and the Middle East 94

Latin America and Africa 96

China 98

Restructuring the International Economy 99

The Two Faces of International Impact 105

Part 2 The Second Phase, 1880-1950: The New International Cast

6 The Industrial Revolution Changes Stripes, 1880-1950 109

Second-Phase Trends 109

Why Japan and Russia? 113

7 The Industrial Revolution in Russia 121

Early Industrialization: Before the Revolution 122

Social Impacts: Industrialization and Revolution 129

The Industrial Revolution Under Communism 133

8 The Industrial Revolution in Japan 139

The Context for Industrialization 142

The Early Stages 144

Social Impacts 150

The Industrial Economy Matures: 1920s-1950s 154

9 New Developments in Western Societies: A Second Revolution?: Redefinitions of the Industrial Economy 159

Machines and the Drive for Organizational Change 160

The Service Sector 166

Leisure and the Consumer Economy 169

Class Warfare 170

Redefining the Scope of Industrialization 173

The West as New Model 174

10 The Industrial Revolution in International Context 177

The Expansion of Commercial Exploitation 179

Environmental Change 186

Factory Expansion 186

Industrial Sectors: Change amid Tradition 192

Economies of the British Dominions 194

At the Brink of Global Change 197

Part 3 The Third Phase, 1950s-2000s: The Industrialization of the World

11 The Industrial Revolution in the Past Half Century 201

New Members of the Industrial Club: The 1960s 202

The New Wave: The 1980s and 1990s and Beyond 204

The Postindustrial Concept 205

Globalization 207

Deepening Diversity 208

12 New Industrial Revolutions 211

Israel: Development in the Desert 212

The Pacific Rim 213

Industrial Growth in the Pacific Rim 215

Expanding the Rim? 217

Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey: The Next Wave 218

China and India 222

Waves of Change 226

13 The Less Industrial World: Evolution and Exploitation 229

The Long Reach of the Industrial Powers 230

Resources Producers: Some New Bargaining Power 232

Patterns of Dependency 234

Variety and Inequality 236

14 Postindustrial Societies and Global Balance 239

Growth Rates 239

Structural Changes: The Postindustrial Thesis 245

The New Industrial Balance 250

15 Global Industry and the Environment 255

The Pace Quickens 256

Attempts at Addressing a Large-Scale Problem 260

16 Globalization and Global Industrial Societies 1880-1950 265

The Multinationals 267

Labor Migration 270

Regionalism and International Forces 274

An International Approach to Policy 276

Global Societies 276

Inequalities 278

17 Conclusions 281

Precedent as a Guide to Prediction 281

History and Changing Contexts 284

The Balance Sheet 285

The Ongoing Experience 288

Acknowledgments 289

Suggestions for Further Readings 291

Index 303

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    From Ripples to Waves Historians might argue that the most impo

    From Ripples to Waves

    Historians might argue that the most important development to happen in recent centuries is the Industrial Revolution. That is certainly the argument made by Peter Stearns in The Industrial Revolution in World History. Nothing continues to shape the world more the way this revolution has. The way we seek entertainment, the homes we live in, and even the things we think about have all been refocused. In this book, Stearns explores the global impact of such a major revolution and how it "continues to shape the contemporary world."

    The fourth edition of Stearns' book is one that offers unparalleled access to information about non-Western industrialization. He takes readers to the Middle East and Asia to discover information many of us never had access to. According to Stearns, the Industrial Revolution "was the most important single development in human history over the past three centuries." Concisely, he goes on to share a readable account of the places, people, and items that played a role in the revolution; however, the broad range of topics remains unintimidating.

    In this easy-to-read historical account, Stearns poses thought-provoking questions about geography, sociology, and history. I was amazed to learn that Stearns has written and edited more than 115 books!

    This is a great book for the history buff who has a high standard for reading material. It achieves exactly what it sets out to - it tells the story of the ripples that caused the world to change. As one of my first books on the topic, it prepared me to move on to heavier texts like Cities Perceived and reminded me of Guns, Germs, and Steel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)