Dear Great Book Guru, As we approach summer’s midpoint, my thoughts turn to - yes- enlightenment! I have read many good novels over the last few months and now I want to learn something new with perhaps a scientific bent. I do so love historical fiction.
In Search of Enlightenment
Dear In Search of….. I just finished a wonderful historical novel set in the 1880’s about the fierce struggle to electrify America: THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore. The major players are George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison. Told from the perspective of Paul Cravath, a young lawyer who goes on to invent the prototype of the modern law firm, this factually accurate novel is both a suspenseful mystery and a psychological study of genius. Edison is portrayed as an egotistically driven showman whose light bulb is inferior to the naïve, well-intentioned Westinghouse’s. It is Edison’s threat of a billion dollar law suit that brings Cravath on the scene. With the help of the eccentric Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla and renowned opera singer Agnes Huntington, he struggles to win what is called “the current wars.” Will alternating current A/C or direct current D/C prevail? All this is set against the backdrop of late nineteenth century New York as magical thinking gives way to scientific progress. A fascinating, always entertaining work further enhanced by an eight page author’s note outlining where fact and fiction diverge- highly recommended!