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Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technologyby Alexis Madrigal
Synopses & Reviews
Few today realize that electric cabs dominated Manhattan's streets in the 1890s; that Boise, Idaho, had a geothermal heating system in 1910; or that the first megawatt turbine in the world was built in 1941 by the son of publishing magnate G. P. Putnam--a feat that would not be duplicated for another forty years. Likewise, while many remember the oil embargo of the 1970s, few are aware that it led to a corresponding explosion in green-technology research that was only derailed when energy prices later dropped.
In other words: We've been here before. Although we may have failed, America has had the chance to put our world on a more sustainable path. Americans have, in fact, been inventing green for more than a century.
Half compendium of lost opportunities, half hopeful look toward the future, Powering the Dream tells the stories of the brilliant, often irascible inventors who foresaw our current problems, tried to invent cheap and energy renewable solutions, and drew the blueprint for a green future.
Book News Annotation:
This history of green energy in America showcases the grand experiments, both successful and failed, that have broadened our cultural relationship with sustainable power over the past century. The work examines historical projects such as steam power, wind projects in the West, plans for national electric rail systems, solar hot water heating and the modern solar home of the 1950s, as well as what the future might hold for innovative green energy development. The volume includes sixteen glossy, black and white plates detailing historical energy projects. Madrigal is an editor at The Atlantic Monthly and a staff writer for Wired magazine. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From award-winning technology writer Alexis Madrigal, the first book to explore both the forgotten history and the visionary future of America's green-tech innovation.
and#147;Eye-opening micro-histories about Americaand#8217;s energy past, with an eye to the future.and#133;A well-told cautionary tale about the need for widespread renewable energy production.and#8221;--Kirkus Reviews
Few today realize that Americaand#8217;s relationship with green technology is far from a recent development. The truth is Americans have been inventing green for more than a century. Powering the Dream tells the fascinating stories of the brilliant, often irascible inventors who foresaw our current energy problems, tried to invent cheap and renewable solutions, and drew the blueprint for a green future.
About the Author
Alexis Madrigal is senior editor and lead technology writer for TheAtlantic.com and an award-winning former staff writer for Wired.com. He is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a regular guest on NPR. He lives in Washington, D.C
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Engineering » Engineering » History