AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War (Google eBook)

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John Wiley & Sons, Jan 6, 2011 - Science - 208 pages
28 Reviews
AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison wrongly bet in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires; a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around that most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison's inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the ?operating system? for his future inventions?not to mention the company he founded, General Electric.

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Review: AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War

User Review  - Randal Martin - Goodreads

I thought enjoyed this book. It portrays Edison as a brilliant inventor that becomes so passionate about his project that he begins to ignore the fact that he is wrong. He tries to sensationalize the ... Read full review

Review: AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

Seemed a bit lackluster and almost, dare I say, shallow. I originally thought this would be about Edison and Tesla. Turned out to about Edison and Westinghouse. Which was relatively interesting. But ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

TOM MCNICHOL is a contributing editor for Wired magazine. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. His radio commentaries and satires have aired on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace. He’s the author of Barking at Prozac (Crown Publishing, 1997), and his work appears in the anthology Afterwords: Stories and Reports from 9/11 and Beyond (Washington Square Press, 2002).

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