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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Tom Mcnichol
Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner
Genres: Business & Economics, Science & Technology
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: May 2008
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 6 hours, 30 minutes
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Long before there was Windows versus Macintosh, the first standards war was fought over how electricity would be transmitted. That fierce war would change the lives of billions and shape the modern technological age.

Reviews (2)

Light History

Written by tom on May 2nd, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Sometimes these history books can be very dry but this one has a "spark" (sorry about that I could not resist) that sets it apart. Fascinating details about household names and how hard they worked. If scientists of this day could have the insight and ingenuity that these men had in their age, cancer would be cured and all our cars would be electrics with a 500 mile range.


Written by Bob Stewart from Berryville, VA on April 27th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this book! It details the history of the electrification of the U.S. and the subsequent battle over whether the standard power would be alternating or direct current. Very entertaining...well written and well read. My only quibble would be the constant reference to voltage as the danger to life. Much of the battle for the electricity standard boiled down to which form was most dangerous. It isn't until the fourth of six discs that current is brought into the equation and I think the word "ampere" only shows up once in the book. A great "read" [listen].

Author Details

Author Details

Mcnichol, Tom

TOM MCNICHOL is a contributing editor for "Wired" magazine. His articles have appeared in the "New York Times, Salon," the "Washington Post," and the "Guardian." His radio commentaries and satires have aired on NPR's "All Things Considered, Morning Edition," and "Marketplace." He's the author of "Barking at Prozac" (Crown Publishing, 1997), and his work appears in the anthology "Afterwords: Stories and Reports from 9/11 and Beyond" (Washington Square Press, 2002).