AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War
September 2006, Jossey-Bass
1 First Sparks.
2 Lightning in a Bottle.
3 Enter the Wizard.
4 Let There Be Light.
5 Electrifying the Big Apple.
7 The Animal Experiments.
8 Old Sparky.
9 Pulse of the World.
10 Killing an Elephant.
11 Twilight by Battery Power.
12 DC’s Revenge.
Epilogue Standards Wars: Past, Present, and Future.
Further Readings in Electricity.
—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
—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