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Why did Western countries become so much wealthier than the rest of the world? What explains the huge rise in incomes during the Industrial Revolution - and why did Britain lead the way? In the years between the Glorious Revolution and the Great Exhibition, the British ecomy was transformed. Joel Mokyr's landmark history offers a wholly new perspective for understanding Britain's extraordinary rise during the Industrial Revolution, showing how intellectual, rather than material, forces were the driving force behind it. While empire, trade, resources and other factors all played a part, above all it was the creative ferment of the Enlightenment - with its belief in progress and scientific advancement - that affected the ecomic behaviour of thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs and artisans, taking Britain into the modern era. Linking ideas and beliefs to the heart of modern ecomic growth, The Enlightened Ecomy will transform the way we view the Industrial Revolution.
Joel Mokyr is the author of several major works of economic history, including The Lever of Riches (1992) and The Gifts of Athena (2002). He teaches at Northwestern University and at Tel Aviv University.