IGN seeks out new Civilization
As for details -- well, if there's pretty much anything you want to know about Civilization Revolution, this exhaustive preview has it. For example, the discussion on technology. While you can't set your research on autopilot in order to go directly to a certain technology, you can arrive at many of them via multiple paths. If a technological breakthrough has multiple prerequisites, achieving any of them will qualify you for the new tech. And you get a bonus for being the first to discover a certain technology.
If you're already thinking about historical discoveries that would totally rule in-game, and the previous discoveries that led to them, you should consider checking out the full preview.
See also: 2008's Biggest Blips: Civilization Revolution