This review, In Dusty Archives, a Theory of Affluence , published in today's New York Times, discuses Gregory Clark's belief that the Industrial Revolution occurred because of a change in the nature of the human population. People began, the author contends, to develop new behaviors including non-violence, literacy, long working hours, and saving, all required to make a modern economy work. There are those who disagree and their comments are included in the review. The book, A Farewell to Alms (Princeton University Press), comes out next month.
From my reading of the review I think there are some problems with his reasoning, but I'll reserve judgment until I can get my hands on the book and read it for myself. However, if you can't wait, check out the author's page . He provides not only the table of contents, but a number of sample chapters as well.