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


A lot of what you learn in school about history isn’t all that exciting.  I think that’s probably just because they leave all the exciting stuff out.  AC/DC (no, not the band) is an exceptional example of how kick ass history can be.  As the full title would suggest, AC/DC is about the fight between Thomas Edison’s DC current and Nikola Tesla’s AC current.  If you thought the fight between Betamax and VHS, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, or even Xbox 360 and PS3 was bad, then step back and ask yourself: how many elephants did Sony kill to prove it’s point?  The answer is two, but Ken Kutaragi doesn’t talk about that anymore.  Not only did the outright marketing war that took place between GE and Westinghouse claim the lives of many a dog, barn yard animal, as well as an elephant, but in New York state William Kemmler was put to death on en electric chair powered by AC current in an attempt to discredit its safety.  AC/DC chronicles the violent and vicious standards war that took place in the late 1800s and is an enthralling look at the characters that took part in the battle and the events that shaped the outcome of the war.  The book is an incredibly quick read, endlessly fascinating in both the scientific and historic details it provides, and is guaranteed to make you hate Thomas Edison.  Because really, that guy’s a dick.

Amazon Link

More on the War of Currents


One Response to Book Recommendation: AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War

  1. Scott Reeser says:

    Might wanna retype that last sentence.

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