Riello, Giorgio / O’Brien, Patrick K.
"The Industrial Revolution continues to be analysed by economic historians
deploying the conceptual vocabularies of modern social science, particularly
economics. Their approach which gives priority to the elaboration of causes and
processes of evolution is far too often and superficially contrasted with postmodern forms of social and cultural history with their aspirations to recover the
meanings of the Revolution for those who lived through its turmoil and for
‘witnesses’ from the mainland who visited the offshore economy between 1815-
48. Our purpose is to demonstrate how three distinct reconstructions of the
Revolution are only apparently in conflict and above all that a contextualised
analysis of observations of travellers from the mainland and the United States
provides several clear insights into Britain’s famous economic transformation."