In This Review

The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America
The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America
By Maury Klein
Bloomsbury Press, 2008, 560 pp.

Conventional histories of the Industrial Revolution focus primarily on the technological and financial history of productive industries such as textiles and steel; Klein, professor emeritus at the University of Rhode Island, fills an important gap with a thorough and engaging study of the technological and financial history of the production and distribution of power itself. The development of steam and electric power shaped the horizons of transport, heavy industry, and the rising metropolises of the industrial era. Klein's book illuminates the interplay of scientific theory, technological progress, and the development of the new business models and corporate structures that each of these power revolutions entailed. Readers will come away from this important and well-argued book with a significantly enhanced understanding of the rise and development of modern America.