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

3.68 avg rating
( 457 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780787982676: AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War

AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison wrongly bet in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires; a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around that most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison's inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the ?operating system? for his future inventions?not to mention the company he founded, General Electric.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

Long before there was VHS versus Betamax, Windows versus Macintosh, or Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD, the first and nastiest standards war was fought between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison bet wrong in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires; a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around that most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison's inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the "operating system" for his future inventions—not to mention the company he founded, which would later become General Electric.

The battle over whether alternating or direct current would be the standard for transmitting electricity around the world changed the lives of billions of people, shaped the modern technological age, and set the stage for all standards wars to follow. Today's Digital Age wizards can take lessons from Edison's fierce battle—control an invention's technical standard and you control the market.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for AC/DC

"You'll never look at your wall socket the same again."
—Evan Ratliff, coauthor, Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World

"From the twisted copper wires of electricity's early years McNichol spins a story buzzing with genius and fraud, ambition and infamy, hilarity and humiliation. It's a joy to read: a comic operetta of American industrial history, full of great men, small minds and an alarming number of dead dogs."
—Craig Stoltz, health editor, Washington Post

"Few writers explain technology as well as Tom McNichol. No one's as good at finding the humor in it."
—Jeffrey O'Brien, senior editor, Wired magazine

"A fascinating history of the battle that decided what comes through the wires when we flick a switch. A great story of how far people will go to prove they're 'right' – and make a buck."
—J. J. Yore, executive producer, public radio's Marketplace

"A tale of astonishing genius and greed, a perfect reflection of the competing forces that built corporate America. McNichol offers us a ringside seat at the birth of a superpower, and it's a bloody, messy, and altogether fascinating spectacle."
—Brooke Gladstone, cohost, NPR's On the Media

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

McNichol, Tom
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Grandisbooks
(Neptune, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 314DWN0007VS

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Tom McNichol
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. This item is Print on Demand - Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # POD_9780787982676

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Tom McNichol
Published by John Wiley Sons Inc, United States (2006)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 1. Auflage. 231 x 157 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison wrongly bet in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires; a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around that most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison s inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the A operating systemA for his future inventionsA-not to mention the company he founded, General Electric. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780787982676

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Tom McNichol
Published by John Wiley Sons Inc, United States (2006)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 1. Auflage. 231 x 157 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison wrongly bet in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires; a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around that most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison s inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the A operating systemA for his future inventionsA-not to mention the company he founded, General Electric. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780787982676

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Tom McNichol
Published by John Wiley and#38; Sons (2006)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description John Wiley and#38; Sons, 2006. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780787982676

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

McNichol, Tom
Published by Jossey-Bass (2013)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Jossey-Bass, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0787982679

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.42
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

McNichol, Tom
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. Bookseller Inventory # 1681547

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 22.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

McNichol, Tom
Published by Jossey-Bass (2017)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Jossey-Bass, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0787982679

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Tom McNichol
Published by John Wiley and#38; Sons (2006)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description John Wiley and#38; Sons, 2006. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FW-9780787982676

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.64
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Tom McNichol
Published by Jossey-Bass (2006)
ISBN 10: 0787982679 ISBN 13: 9780787982676
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Jossey-Bass, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0787982679

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 27.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book