The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Sep 1, 2010 - History - 560 pages
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Maury Klein is one of America's most acclaimed historians of business and society. In The Power Makers, he offers an epic narrative of his greatest subject yet - the "power revolution" that transformed American life in the course of the nineteenth century. The steam engine; the incandescent bulb; the electric motor-inventions such as these replaced backbreaking toil with machine labor and changed every aspect of daily life in the span of a few generations.
The cast of characters includes inventors like James Watt, Elihu Thomson, and Nikola Tesla; entrepreneurs like George Westinghouse; savvy businessmen like J.P. Morgan, Samuel Insull, and Charles Coffin of General Electric. Striding among them like a colossus is the figure of Thomas Edison, who was creative genius and business visionary at once. With consummate skill, Klein recreates their discoveries, their stunning triumphs and frequent failures, and their unceasing, bare-knuckled battles in the marketplace.
In Klein's hands, their personalities and discoveries leap off the page. The Power Makers is a dazzling saga of inspired invention, dogged persistence, and business competition at its most naked and cutthroat--a biography of America in its most astonishing decades.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mjgrogan - LibraryThing

If you’re interested in such stuff, I highly recommend this thick book presenting the history of the inventions and innovations that gave us steam power and commercial electricity which, ultimately ... Read full review

THE POWER MAKERS: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America

User Review  - Kirkus

Business historian Klein (The Change Makers: From Carnegie to Gates, How the Great Entrepreneurs Transformed Ideas Into Industry, 2003, etc.) brings the steam and electrical power revolutions ... Read full review


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The Alternative System
Eventful Currents
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Electrical Circuits

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About the author (2010)

Maury Klein is the author of many books, including The Life and Legend of Jay Gould; Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War; and Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929. He is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Rhode Island.

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