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BOOK REVIEW: ELECTRIC UNIVERSE * * 1/2 (2 and a half stars out of 4).

16 April 2005

Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity by David Bodanis is a nice mix of both science and history and biography, and I liked it. It is impossible to overstate the importance of harnessing electricity in influencing the history of the world, and yet I have seldom seen electricity discussed from an historical perspective, presumably because historians aren’t generally all that interested in science.

The book does a decent job of explaining the science behind modern inventions, but I feel the explanation could have been much deeper, to the point where you’d be able to build your own light bulb or telephone. And it failed to discuss television, which I think is probably the most important invention of the 20th century, in terms of influencing history. And it was a little dry in places. But I did like it overall, and I recommend it.

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