Industrial Revolution Reference Library Biographies: Biographies

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Editorial Reviews

This review addresses the 4 volume Industrial Revolution Reference Library published by UXL. The primary book in this set is the Almanac volume. It opens with a time line that begins with the passage of the British Navigation Acts in 1650 and ends with the development of the atomic bomb and the birth of the Nuclear Age in 1945. That block of time describes the parameters of this set, which follows the world through technological breakthroughs in transportation, communications, and mechanics. These innovations brought about great social changes as well, so also covered are legislation, labor unions, urbanization, and factories. A narrative history covers standard topics such as the cotton gin and oil tycoons, but it also branches out to include the Depression Era, the global economy, and the final, gradual transformation into the age of computers and nuclear power. The Biographies volume supplements the almanac by highlighting twentyfive top inventors, philanthropists, labor leaders, and politicians in eightpage profiles that include photos and sidebars of historical information. The emphasis is primarily on American subjects. The Primary Sources volume reprints portions of historic documents, legislation, and the seminal writings from authors such as Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair, and Karl Marx. Most writings deal with social concerns and workers' conditions. Each excerpt is accompanied by a critical evaluation of its importance and an examination of how it was originally received. Again, photos and sidebars are used effectively to tie the writings to particular issues and historic events. The final volume is a thin cumulative index that brings the other volumes together, identifying pagesin all three volumes that discuss topics such as child labor or the Progressive Party. The individual volumes can stand alone, each with its own index and bibliography, but the Almanac is the most comprehensive. It is an attractive, wellorganized, and easytoread examination of the Industrial Revolution, accessible to the middle school student. Libraries with a need for broader coverage of the topic should consider the full set, which makes the most of tying primary sources and people to historical events. 2003, UXLCheryl McDonald, 224p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Chronology., PLB. Ages 11 to 18.
—Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-A straightforward, useful resource. Almanac gives a good overview of how the periods from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and changes in economic theory created the environment for the industrialization to occur. Other chapters discuss the advent of machines such as the steam engine, power loom, and internal combustion engine; the stages of the Industrial Revolution; and offer an excellent summary of the social and political changes that resulted. The authors also consider the role of the computer in modern life and discuss how some societies are now experiencing the rapid socioeconomic changes associated with the Industrial Revolution. Biographies gives accounts of 25 international figures including Adam Smith, Mother Jones, Samuel Gompers, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Cyrus McCormick, and Karl Marx. Excerpts from some of the most significant and controversial documents of the period are included in Primary Sources: The Sadler Report of 1833 (testimony by children of their experience as laborers in England); 19th-century Luddite criticism of the new technologies; and Adam Smith's laissez-faire economic philosophy as defined in An Inquiry into the Natures and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Background information for each document is provided and its impact on society is examined. The set includes helpful sidebars, time lines, and a glossary along with average-quality, black-and-white photographs and reproductions. Each volume includes its own index; a paperback cumulative index is also available. Students and teachers will appreciate how information is pulled together in this coherent source.-Madeleine G. Wright, New Hampton School, NH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787665142
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 5/23/2003
  • Series: Industrial Revolution Reference Library
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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