Listen to author Emma Griffin discussing the British Industrial Revolution on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wr9r7 Why was the British industrial revolution such a pivotal event in world history? This succinct introduction explains what the Industrial Revolution was, when exactly it occurred and why it happened in Britain first. Providing a clear and compelling synthesis of the latest research on industrialization, and illustrated with newspaper articles, photographs and graphs, the book is aimed at students without any prior knowledge. Griffin assesses the best known explanations for the industrial revolution, and argues that industrialization is to be understood chiefly as the switch to a new source of fuel (coal) coupled with the emergence of new technologies. Situating British industrialisation in a global context, she evaluates what benefits, if any, the world's first industrial revolution brought to the ordinary men and women whose labour made it happen.