Populist History of Electricity

Pedro G Ferreira reviews David Bodanis’s history of electricity, Electric Universe, in The Guardian:

The story unravels at breakneck speed. In his sensual, almost impressionistic tour, Bodanis does what he knows best: he unearths the quirks and passions that drove some of the main characters and uses vignettes to slip in brief, but clear explanations of physical phenomena. He describes Alexander Graham Bell, who falls passionately in love with his deaf, mute student, Mabel. Faced with the social objections of her family, he envisions the telegraph as paving the way to a prosperous and loving marriage. He succeeds and, at his wedding, gives her “…pearls, a silver pendant in the shape of a telephone and 1,497 shares of stock in the fledgling Bell Telephone company… worth several billion dollars today”.

More here.