The Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Robert C. Allen book)
A good, quick read. I finished it about six months ago so I don’t remember too much. The main thing I do remember is this: Allen believes that the reason why the industrial revolution happened in England in the 1800s is that the price of labor was high relative to the price of coal. So it made sense for English capital owners to invest in innovations that could replace workers with machines. In other places, like France, labor was cheap enough that these investments wouldn’t have made sense.
Allen has a much longer book called ‘The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective’, which I read about in Five Books’ interview with Sheilagh Ogilvie about the industrial revolution.