Read Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity by David Bodanis Free Online
Book Title: Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity|
The author of the book: David Bodanis
Date of issue: February 15th 2005
ISBN 13: 9781400045501
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.27 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.4
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I'm giving this three stars because what's there is pretty good, for what it is. But it's a grudging rating, for the book has one glaring, unforgivable fault.
The idea of this book is that it's meant to be a beginner's introduction to the underlying concepts of electricity: how it works and what's going on, as well as interesting stories surrounding the discoveries of those concepts.
And to that extent, it succeeds.
Purists will be upset by this book because it uses the device of lies to children to get a lot of the ideas across; that is, it simplifies - sometimes grossly simplifies - concepts, sometimes even mischaracterizing them, in order to be able to make the information more understandable to people entirely new to the ideas.
But this book isn't meant for purists. If you already have a reasonably good understanding of how electricity works, skip this book - it isn't for you. It's meant for people who are just beginning to get it; for them, it works.
However (and here we come to the glaring flaw I mentioned), this book contains a sin of omission: there is Not. One. Mention of Nicola Tesla. In the section on Edison, no mention of his and Tesla's very public battle over whether the electric grid should be using direct current (Edison) or alternating current (Tesla), and why Tesla won (because he was right!).
In the bit about Marconi, he ignores the fact that many of Marconi's patents - based on the work of Tesla, among others - were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 (6 years after Marconi's death).
Given that much of the book is interesting stories about the scientists who discovered the properties of electricity and wrote its stories, it's curious - not to mention disquieting - that the Edison/Tesla conflict, at the very least (since it deals with an aspect of the electrical system that is still very important to us today) would be ignored.
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Read information about the authorDavid Bodanis is the bestselling author of THE SECRET HOUSE and E=MC2, which was turned into a PBS documentary and a Southbank Award-winning ballet at Sadler's Wells. David also wrote ELECTRIC UNIVERSE, which won the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize, and PASSIONATE MINDS, a BBC Book of the Week. His newest work, EINSTEIN’S GREATEST MISTAKE, will be published in October 2016.
David has worked for the Royal Dutch Shell Scenario Prediction unit and the World Economic Forum. He has been a popular speaker at TED conferences and at Davos. His work has been published in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and has appeared on Newsnight, Start the Week, and other programs. When not slumped in front of a laptop, he has been known to attempt kickboxing, with highly variable results.