Kindle Price: $10.99

Save $6.01 (35%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by [Rosen, William]
Kindle App Ad

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
$10.99

Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Industrial Revolution inspires more academic theories than absorbing narratives. Rosen, however, crafts one from subplots that connect with primitive industrialism's premier symbol: the steam engine. Ardent about historical technology, Rosen modulates his mechanical zeal with contexts underscoring that Thomas Newcomen and James Watt did not operate in a social vacuum. Fixing on patents as one prerequisite to their inventions, Rosen describes intellectual property's English legal and philosophical origins as he segues to Newcomen's and Watt's backgrounds. A degree of social mobility in eighteenth-century Britain enabled their rise, but it was the specific economic situations in mining and textiles to which they responded that ensured it. These business matters provide Rosen with storytelling opportunities that feature capital investors, scientists studying heat, and over time, innovators who improved the steam engine from a stationary to a mobile power source: Rocket, the famous railroad engine built in 1829. Readers who like enthused authors will like Rosen, and fans of his Roman history Justinian's Flea (2007) augment their number. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

“This book has a crackling energy to it, often as riveting as it is educational.”

(Los Angeles Times)

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention is a sneaky history—ostensibly about the origins of the steam engine, though actually about much more. . . . Rosen is a natural and playful storyteller, and his digressions both inform the narrative and lend it an eccentric and engaging rhythm."

(New York Times)

“A fascinating, wide-ranging narrative. . . . A staggering work of epistemological research."

(Kirkus)

“Rosen has a facility for the telling anecdote and the quirky aside. Open nearly any page of the book and you’ll learn tidbits like that Abraham Lincoln had a love of things mechanical and is the only American president to be awarded a patent (for air chambers that add buoyancy to steam ships and other boats). . . . The Most Powerful Idea in the World is enjoyable reading, although it does go into a lot of detail about steam engines, and you will learn more about how they work than you might expect.”
(Bill Gates, Best Books of 2013)

Product details

  • File Size: 4373 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (May 27, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S49WS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

Rated by customers interested in
Business & Economics Books
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
European History
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Economic History
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars

Read reviews that mention

Top customer reviews

October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
September 19, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
January 28, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
December 11, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
April 4, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention