The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention

Rosen, William

Published by Random House Inc, 2010
ISBN 10: 1400067057 / ISBN 13: 9781400067053
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hardcover, signed by Author on title page, dust jacket folding of front flap incorrect, very slight crease at top edge, new covers (sharp corners, bright spine titles), clean unmarked pages, binding tight as new and unread (clean page edge). Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat lineâ until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress.
   
In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove itâ the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen’s answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas.
   
The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine’s history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt, scientists including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black, and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smithâ all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world.
 
William Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the “aha!” moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to readers fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself.
 

About the Author: William Rosen, the author of the award-winning history Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe, was an editor and publisher at Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and the Free Press for nearly twenty-five years. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Title: The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story...
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New

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