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Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Oktober 2004

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Jill Jonnes's compelling Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World offers a multi-sided tale of America's turn-of-the-20th-century quest for cheap, reliable electrical power. Along the way, the book profiles key personalities in both the science and industry of electrification and dramatizes the transformation of American society that accompanied the technological revolution. As her sub-title suggests, Jonnes's focus is on the three great personalities behind the building of the electricity industry. But, as she makes clear, the electrification of America was much more than a pathbreaking scientific quest. The genius of such poet-scientists as Nikola Tesla depended on the more finely tuned business skills of George Westinghouse and the towering capital of J.P. Morgan to achieve actualization. And even Thomas Edison and Westinghouse--innovative industrial combatants in the war between AC and DC current--were victims of the far more powerful and conservative financial forces of Wall Street. Indeed, for Jonnes, the story of electricity is as much about the legions of patent attorneys and bankers who controlled the flow of industry as it is about the circulation of current. Her sophisticated portrait of Gilded Age science, business, and society brings new light to the forces that underlie technological revolutions. As she reveals, it is not so much the great public men of science who directed the destiny of America's eventual empire of light; rather, the path was solidified by those men behind the scenes who were wise enough (and perhaps ruthless enough) to impose their legal, financial, and political dominance onto the scientific innovation--a valuable message for all eras. --Patrick O’Kelley -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Praise for Empires of Light

“[Empires of Light] provides a wealth of colorful anecdotes and fascinating detail.”
—The Washington Post Book World

“A rollicking story of competitive zeal . . . [the book] delivers richly on its promise: chronicling a vital stage of American progress as seen through the lives of three mavericks.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Entertaining and informative . . . a lively account of how personal ambitions and hostilities fueled the interaction between science and business during the long War of the Electric Currents.”
—The Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Jonnes does a fine job portraying these men against the historical background of the Gilded Age in this engaging, well-documented volume.”
—Chicago Tribune

“[Jill Jonnes] brings [Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse] to life through cumulative biographical detail.”
—Boston Sunday Globe

“A crackerjack account of the race for electrification . . . [Empires of Light] is a story of the collision of business and technology, and Jonnes tells it well.”
—San Francisco Chronicle (Best Books of 2003)

“The electrons fairly leap as Jonnes personifies that high-voltage history with a three-wired account.”
—Johns Hopkins Magazine

“Jonnes re-creates this venomous rivalry in a delightful book that may remind readers of E.L. Doctorow’s novel Ragtime. . . . but Empires of Light is no fiction; it’s a meticulously researched narrative in which famous people go baying after an elusive goal: to power cities by harnessing a hidden force wrested from the atmosphere.”

“With Empires of Light, Jill Jonnes joins the genre of academicians who truly document for the nation’s collective memory the significant struggles that led to commonplace conveniences of today.”
—The Baltimore Sun

“[Empires of Light] moves seamlessly back and forth in time. . . . Jonnes is a fine biographer and an excellent scientific and industrial historian. She’s done a superb job of telling an important story.”
—Rocky Mountain News

—The Buffalo News

“Jonnes’s book makes us think about the dramatic changes electricity brought.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Compelling . . .Jill Jonnes has delivered an absorbing tale about the advent of the power grid.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Jonnes lucidly lays out the technical issues, playing plenty of attention to the personalities involved to liven things up for the general reader.”

“Jill Jonnes’s Empires of Light is the most exciting science/business adventure to come out in the past decade. Once she gets past the initial discoveries of the properties of electricity, her brilliant storytelling pulls the reader into a gripping, real-life turn-of-the-century tale full of twists, turns, ironies, dirty tricks, breakthrough challenges, accomplishments, tragedies and triumphs.”
—Houston Chronicle

“An amazing book, one so entertaining that i treads almost like a novel . . . a powerful narrative that captures the tension of a time long gone.”
—San Jose Mercury News

“Thoughtful and well paced.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Jonnes serves up plenty of color in an engaging and relaxed style.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A very accessible and informative historical account that will be fascinating reading for a general audience as well as those with a more specialized interest.”

“Compelling . . . Like the late Stephen Ambrose, historian Jill Jonnes paints her story with a broad canvas and populates it with titans.”

“A thoroughly engaging and highly informative account of three inventors who pioneered the production and distribution of electricity. Without these three engineers the world would simply not be what we know today.”
—Henry Petroski, author of The Evolution of Useful Things

“Jill Jonnes’ Empires of Light is the captivating—no, let’s say electrifying—saga of the War of the Electric Currents fought at the close of the nineteenth century with typical Gilded Age excess by Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse. From the electrification of J. P. Morgan’s New York mansion to Westinghouse’s subjugation of Niagara Falls, Jonnes explains in human terms how alternating current achieved dominance over direct current, a victory of incalculable importance in the history of the world—and she tells the story with great, at times even macabre, verve, as in her account of the invention of the electric chair and its horrifying first use. Along the way she solves numerous little mysteries of electric power, among them why Broadway became nicknamed ‘The Great White Way.’ ”
—Erik Larson, author of In the Garden of Beasts and The Devil in the White City

Empires of Light is a fascinating and vivid portrait of a tumultuous era. In a fast-paced narrative, Jill Jonnes recreates the personalities, technologies, and corporate intrigues that changed America by—literally—electrifying the nation.”
—Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light

From the Hardcover edition.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Empires of Light: the story of a facinating feud in the Wild East 16. Juli 2013
Von James D. Best - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
During the time of America's Wild West, there was also a wildness in the civilized East. It wasn't a range war; it was ruthless combat on the frontier of science. Telegraphs and trains compressed time and space, engines and motor gave man super strength, and electricity expanded day into night. These were parlor tricks that burst out of the laboratories to the wonder of a bustling nation. It was near magic, and hardnosed men fought to control these supernatural enterprises.

Jill Jonnes in Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World does an excellent job of helping us understand the energy and competitiveness of the time. The "War of the Electric Currents" was an exciting part of our history that could have been made dull as mud. Jonnes avoids tedious explanations of technology to tell the story through three men: Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse. The supporting cast includes robber barons that provided money and intrigue. It was a Wild East fighting over a vast business frontier without rules, fences, or referees.

In researching my latest book, I read, or seriously scanned several books on Edison and one on Tesla. I picked up the Jonnes' book because I wanted a better understanding of Westinghouse. Jonnes does a good job of presenting all three key players in the "War of the Electric Currents." Empires of Light is especially good if you want a single book that puts this fascinating feud into perspective. She makes these giants human and shows that they had distinct personalities. Empires of Light is a nicely done, balanced history book about a world-shattering period of invention and innovation.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you love inventors, inventing, and history, you'll love this book. 19. Dezember 2016
Von Fred Raimondi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I loved this book. As a fan of all three of the men profiled in this book - wait - actually, I wasn't a fan of Westinghouse until I read this book.
If you had to compare Westinghouse to someone in 2016 it would be Jeff Bezos. Westinghouse valued innovation and people above profits. The other two men are equally amazing characters and make this a fascinating read.

Jill Jonnes did an amazing job. The research seems REALLY detailed. And since most of the players are gone, I'm sure she had to read VOLUMES of newspapers and books to get this amount of detail.

It's an amazing chronicle of the early days of how electricity became a part of our everyday lives. What's really amazing is how much Nikola Tesla created to really become the architect of our modern day electrical grid. If you're interested in inventors and inventing, you'll love this book.

As a kid, I knew nothing about Tesla. I lived close to many of the places chronicled in this book (Edison's lab and home were in West Orange, NJ where I was raised) and used to visit the Edison National Historic site often. My grandfather actually worked for Thomas Edison and met the man (actually they called him "the old man") on a few occations.

So as a child, Edison was my hero. As an adult I still admired Edison and his tenacity, but Tesla was really a genius. He saw the universe in a really unique way. That info is VERY clear in this book without any opinion from Jill Jonnes.

I understand there's a movie underway chronicling the events in this book.
Although I'm not sure it's really an adaptation of this book.

I loved it. I was sad when I finished it.

btw....I'm a fine artist and I drew the attached portrait of Tesla....on an iPad.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful Book. Lots of Good Information 29. September 2013
Von Lawrence Maturo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I have an EE degree, so I was naturally interested in the start of my profession. This book did a wonderful job, giving me information on things I didn't know about. Especially on Tesla. I had always heard Marconi invented radio. It turns out he was infringing on patents Tesla held, and Tesla had already developed a multichannel radio to control a toy boat. It turns out Tesla invented the induction motor, and since it operated best at 60 cycles, our power is now 60 cycles. I had no idea that Edison was involved in making better batteries for electric cars. Just a ton of fascinating information. Also interesting is the war between Edison and Westinghouse that eventually led to Edison being kicked out of Edison General Electric and the name being shortened to just General Electric.Although Westinghouse lasted longer, he suffered the same fate of being cut out of his company. Tesla on the other hand, did himself in by using money given to him for a particular purpose for research he was interested in instead.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Very Good Book 24. März 2016
Von Benjamin Bacon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The book was rich with information and busted many of the myths that surrounded the early innovators of the electrical power industry. The detailed descriptions of events placed me in the times of the events that surrounded the evolution of electric power generation. I enjoyed reading this book a great deal. It contained information that I did not expect to find in the pages of a historical treatise. Her descriptions were so realistic that I had to ask myself; Was the author actually there?
5.0 von 5 Sternen Electricity and the Giants who presented us with it! 8. Februar 2015
Von B. Stahr - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I love books on history and the advances of man. This book presents the abbreviated biographies of three great inventive pioneers woven together with the story of the use and advancement of electricity. While we take the use of electricity and the many instruments that function because of electricity for granted, this book presents in a well organized fashion the difficulties overcome in its development. From DC to AC. From Arc lighting to the famous incandescent bulbs. Wow, how the developments of these men and their ideas of what electricity could give to the world such a remarkable power harnessed to make man's life a little easier. Tracing the ideas to fruition of these great men, interweaves the capitalist mentality required to make a dream live. There is so much written in such a short book, and yet I found difficulty in putting the book down as it was an enjoyable read.
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