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The Last Days of Night: A Novel by Graham…
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The Last Days of Night: A Novel (2016)

by Graham Moore

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Edison vs. Westinghouse - who would believe that this would provide such enjoyable and rewarding reading. I had no previous knowledge of the adversity between Edison and Westinghouse in the early days of electricity but I did have some background information about the young lawyer who would enter this formidable battle. I loved the description of the chicanery and deceptions that were employed at every level to win and the foible of underestimating one's opponents. Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy. ( )
  kimkimkim | Aug 21, 2017 |
Interesting and fast paced rendition of the battles between Westinghouse and Edison. Surprising how much is actually true. ( )
  Doondeck | Aug 8, 2017 |
This story explores the dawn of the electrical age by following the lawyer, Paul Cravath, who defended George Westinghouse in his battle with Thomas Edison over the lightbulb and direct versus alternating current. Because Nikola Tesla, after leaving the employ of Edison, spent some time working with Westinghouse and ended up selling him his AC patents, this ends up mostly being a tale of the relationships between Cravath, Westinghouse, and Tesla. There is also a love story for Cravath and a glimpse into New York high society.

At the end of the book, Moore calls it a "dramatization of history", a "Gordian knot of verifiable truth, educated supposition, dramatic rendering, and total guesswork". I thought it was fascinating and a fun read ... and it led me to finally pick up a Tesla biography!

http://webereading.com/2017/07/tesla-tesla.html ( )
  klpm | Jul 27, 2017 |
An interesting and easy read learning aboutthe rivalry between Edison and Westinghouse and the start og General Electric. The characters were real but seemed to have little depth. Never would have bought it but as a gift it was a pleasant read. ( )
  JBreedlove | Jun 15, 2017 |
Tesla, Westinghouse, and Edison are all well-known names, but until I read this novel about the lawsuits between Edison and Westinghouse, did I come to realize what a self-serving person Edison was. Told from the perspective of the young lawyer hired by Westinghouse, the characters come to life as we learn how General Electric came to be. Historical fiction writing at its best. The author has provided depth to all three famous men. ( )
  brangwinn | May 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that don't work. —Thomas Edison
People don't know what they want until you show it to them. —Steve Jobs
Don't you understand that Steve doesn't know anything about technology? He's just a super salesman.... He doesn't know anything about engineering, and 99 percent of what he says and thinks is wrong. —Bill Gates
No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude. —Karl Popper
Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy's staying alive. —Friedrich Nietzsche
Dedication
FOR MY GRANDFATHER, DR. CHARLIE STEINER,
who first taught me to revere science on a trip to
Bell Laboratories when I was nine years old. He set an
example of intelligence, kindness, and decency to which I aspire every day.
First words
On the day that he would first meet Thomas Edison, Paul watched a man burn alive in the sky above Broadway.
Quotations
The Western Union man was attempting to untangle the two sets of wires. He looked like a child flummoxed by enormous shoelaces.
Paul felt not only that the lights were new, but that he was. A spark of the filament, and he had been revealed as something he never thought he might be.
None of these early iterations were fit for the home—no wife in America would sanction the installation of a lamp that was confusing to use, expensive to repair, and more likely than not to set the drapes on fire.
That spring, the light-bulb lawsuits descended like locusts upon the land.
"It's one thing to design something, kid. Thomas Edison designs all manner of junk. It's another thing entirely to design something that can be practically built. A thing that will work. That is what a real inventor does. He designs manufacturable devices."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812988906, Hardcover)

From Graham Moore, the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian comes a riveting historical thriller about the “War of the Currents,” the famous race for glory and riches between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Featuring a cast of characters ranging from Nikola Tesla to Alexander Graham Bell to Stanford White, this is a wonder-filled work of historical fiction that is both legal caper and fact-based account of one of the most transformative moments in American history.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:26:11 -0400)

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