The Current War


...For a short overview or general information this is both interesting and useful....

The rivalry between Edison’s championing of DC and Westinghouse’s AC marked the early years of electrical development in the US. This is a short but reasonably detailed look at that rivalry, the effects on the USA, and its lasting effects on America.

There are a few typos, e.g. “in America history” rather than American or America’s, and “his mother falling developing” but overall there’s a good standard of (American) English, even if some of the sentences are poorly phrased e.g the text states that Lord Kelvin opposed DC then switched to supporting AC – but if he was opposing DC originally, how is that a change?

However for a student, or one new to the topic as I was, this is a fascinating read and a useful introduction. It does miss out one of the most famous anecdotes of the period though: Edison’s electrocution of the elephant. I might have missed it, but I’d have expected a more prominent mention. Some more dates would have been useful and the last paragraph doesn’t seem to distinguish between specialist DC uses and the general National Grid, especially in the UK.

Overall though, this is an entertaining and informative read for historians, students, or even for those just interested on how Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse interacted and the creation of the USA’s electrical network. Much longer books can and have been written on the topic, but for a shorter overview or general information this is both interesting and useful.

Rating: 4
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Discussion

Ellie Jane (11 December 2017)
Excellent review. This book sounds interesting and I can get around errors if there aren't too many. I don't know much about electricity really. Guess I'll add this one to my Kindle. Just hope I can actually find it later.

tirial (14 December 2017)
I know the vague details (I think I heard that someone electrocuted an elephant?), but this sounds like it will fill in a lot of the blanks. Sounds fascinating.

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