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AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War | [Tom McNichol]

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

Long before there was VHS versus Betamax, Windows versus Macintosh, or Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD, the first and nastiest standards war was fought over how electricity would be transmitted around the world: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The savage showdown between AC and DC changed the lives of billions of people, shaped the modern technological age, and set the stage for all standards wars to follow.
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Publisher's Summary

Long before there was VHS versus Betamax, Windows versus Macintosh, or Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD, the first and nastiest standards war was fought over how electricity would be transmitted around the world: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The savage showdown between AC and DC changed the lives of billions of people, shaped the modern technological age, and set the stage for all standards wars to follow.

AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison bet wrong in that war, eventually losing control over the "operating system" for his future inventions - not to mention the company he founded, which would later become General Electric. Today's Digital Age wizards can take lessons from Edison's fierce battle: control an invention's technical standard and you control the market

©2008 Tom McNichol; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Though a battle over electrical standards sounds dry, this tale is anything but....[The] book tantalizingly scratches the surface of Edison's ingenuity and force of will, Westinghouse's shrewd business sense, and most of all the sheer eccentricity of Nikola Tesla." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Christopher SOMERS, MT, United States 06-05-08
    Christopher SOMERS, MT, United States 06-05-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An incredible true story"

    This book is awesome all the way around!

    Very well written, very well read, and an incredible true story about how "Edison General Electric" became just "General Electric".

    Highly recommended for those who want to know more about Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla, and the roles they played in the electrification of the world.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Boise, ID, USA 01-05-09
    Nancy Boise, ID, USA 01-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doggone"

    I had a visceral response as I listened to the tales of the electrocutions of the various species of dogs. I actually fast forwarded after the first 5 or so minutes in hopes that the results they found in the first couple dogs would be enough to tell the story.

    While Edison was brilliant and motivated he really didn't have much human velcro. This was dominant throughout this book.

    I recommend this book because of the importance of history - and strangely enough, how things really haven't changed in 100+ years from a human interaction and business posture.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy United States 01-19-13
    Cindy United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Worth your time"

    I really liked this book. I had been unaware that Edison was such a , , , snot. So stubborn and insistent. Tesla comes off as the hero here but I am willing to believe it went down that way--especially now that there is such a terrific looking car, the Tesla, for sale! Held my interest and I appreciated learning and being entertained at the same time. Would be a good movie. Edison's part would be the one to have, though! He is the more interesting character in many ways. Not "riveting" but close

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Mypaycheck SE Michigan 11-14-09
    Pete Mypaycheck SE Michigan 11-14-09 Listener Since 2009
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    "A Must 'Read'!!!!"

    A real gem of an Audiobook! Very well written and narrated. Listen to this, and you'll never think of Edison the same way again! Wow! He was almost something like a cross between a carnival barker and a used car salesman (with a bit of genius).

    You won't be sorry if you get this one! Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Willits, CA, United States 09-15-08
    Chris Willits, CA, United States 09-15-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Good read"

    I liked this story

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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