Electrifying America: From Thomas Edison to Climate Change by I. David Rosenstein is now available in both print and digital format at Amazon.com.
Electrifying America: From Thomas Edison to Climate Change tells the story of electric supply in America beginning in 1882 when Thomas Edison flipped a switch and delivered power to the first lights bulbs installed in offices in New York’s financial district. Before Edison could achieve his goal of “lighting the world,” he was challenged by George Westinghouse and his alternating current system. The ensuing War of the Electric Currents played out before the entire nation and became a vicious personal war between Edison, Westinghouse, and Nicola Tesla.
The War of the Electric Currents was only the first in a series of challenges to the reliable and affordable delivery of electricity in America. It was followed by the excesses of the Power Trusts of the 1920s, multiple large scale power blackouts, the Arab Oil Embargo, the Three Mile Island accident, California’s misadventure with competitive electric supply, and Enron’s bankruptcy. The challenges continue to this day with fears of cyberattacks on the electric grid, deterioration of the energy infrastructure, and the need to respond to the threat of climate change.
As part of his journey through the evolution of electric service, forty-year industry veteran, I. David Rosenstein, provides a fascinating insider's perspective on events from electric industry restructuring to the potential impact of climate change. He shows that, no matter how daunting the challenges, the electric industry and its policy makers have always met the challenges head-on and ensured delivery of electric supply that meets the public interest. Mr. Rosenstein's thoughts on writing the book can be found in the attached interview.
Electrifying America: From Thomas Edison to Climate Change is an essential read for any industry insider, student, political activist, or electricity user seeking to understand the history of a service that is so critical to life in the 21st century.
This web site supplements the book with links to more than 200 web sites that provide critical information about today’s electric service.