Synopses & Reviews
Previous books on the industrialization of America have focused either on the industrial revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century or on the rise of big industry in the second. In this groundbreaking study Licht provides a new perspective by focusing on industrialization first as a product and then as an agent of change. As population expansion and greater market activity fueled manufacture, he explains, industrialization led to greater social and economic developments as well as crises that required a more administered political economic order.
"Professors seeking a solid survey of the 19th-century American economy for their U. S. History survey courses should place this book on their textbook order forms without hesitation. Although Licht's brief work crosses the usual survey course boundary of the Civil War and Reconstruction, no other recent book provides such an intelligent synthesis of the best research from historians of commerce, industry, and labor, and does so in a manner comprehensible
to intelligent college students. Licht's treatment of politics is relatively weak and the tariff issue in particular is slighted, but his conclusions about American industrialization are level-headed and mercifully free of economic jargon and theoretical cant. Historians who do not specialize in economic history may draw as much from this book as will their students." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"This book", writes historian Walter Licht in the Introduction, "is concerned with the great social and economic transformation that occurred in this country over the course of the 19th century between the ages of Jefferson and McKinley. When and where change occurred and the pace of change will be of prime importance, but the great issue will be the 'why' of change. What caused America to be so fundamentally transformed?"
Includes bibliographical references (p. -213) and index.