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‘The Last Days of Night’ (book review)

By William Mogel -- January 25, 2017

“At the heart of The Last Days of Night is the competition between direct current and alternating current, and whether different types of incandescent bulbs infringed on the other’s patent. Underlying all, is how a new technology, electricity, whether via direct or alternating current forced the movement away from other fuels—whale oil, coal gas, kerosene, and natural gas for lighting, and uses other than lighting.”

The book under review, written by an Academy Award screen-writer, is historical fiction based on the fierce rivalry between two 19th century energy titans – Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

Yet Graham Moore’s The Last Days of Night also touches on issues relevant to today— free enterprise versus protective regulations, the interrelationship of energy markets, technological change, corporate spying, and the practices used by corporate heavyweights to achieve market dominance, including the manipulation of the press.…