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The Singularity of Western Innovation

The Language Nexus

Authors: Dudley, Leonard

  • Explores the connection between language, technology, and empire
  • Argues that standardized language made the Industrial Revolution possible
  • Connects literacy to the rise of the West in the seventeenth century
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eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-39822-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40317-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book highlights the contribution of language standardization to the economic rise of the West between 1600 and 1860. Previous studies have been unable to explain why during this period almost all industrial innovation was confined to small areas around the main cultural centers of three Western states – Britain, France, and the United states.  This book argues that Western Europe and its offshoots were the only Eurasian societies able to apply typography cheaply to their writing systems.  The emergence in the West of large networks of people able to communicate in standardized languages made possible the breakthroughs of the Industrial Revolution. Military byproducts of three “macro-innovations”– the steam engine, machine tools, and interchangeable parts – then constituted the West’s toolbox for empire. The book will appeal to readers seeking to explain how the West attained its unprecedented advance over Asia in the nineteenth century, and why this lead has since proved temporary.

About the authors

Leonard Dudley is Honorary Professor at the Université de Montréal, Canada. He received his PhD in economics from Yale University, USA, and his principal research interest is technological change.

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-39822-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40317-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Singularity of Western Innovation
Book Subtitle
The Language Nexus
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-39822-2
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-39822-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-40317-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 316
Number of Illustrations and Tables
11 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour
Topics