Clark reconceptualizes what the Industrial Revolution was all about. It wasn't a huge spurt of technology, circa 1780-1830, but rather there was a prior period of slow and gradual improvement in living standards. That contribution completely revises the "rise of the West debate." While Clark is not the first "gradualist" on this topic, he makes the best and most conceptual case for throwing out previous understandings of the Industrial Revolution.
That point alone makes this one of the most important books of recent times. My main difference with Clark, in these sections...
The WTF lines of the day come from S Gurumurthy, the convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch. The Hindu reports:
He [Gurumurthy] said India’s economic resurgence owed nothing to the Western ideas of market capitalism and globalisation. “I believe that our rise is due to one event — the atomic blast in Pokhran.” “This aroused a sense of pride even in the Non-Resident Indians who had been criticising everything about India for 20 years.”