The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
Set in the 1880’s, The Last Days of Night is a fascinating look at the lives of two of the foremost inventors of the modern age: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. A historical fiction, this brilliant journey in to the past highlights the notoriously embattled relationship between these two champions of the fledgling electric age, locked in a battle to change the world. Also making appearances are other titans of the late 19th century including George Westinghouse and Alexander Graham Bell, amongst others. In the late 1880’s, Edison had recently won the patent for the light bulb. Now, the race is on to provide power for this magnificent new invention. Who will win? Edison and his Direct Current (D/C) generator? Or Westinghouse with his rights to build Alternating Current (A/C) generators designed by Tesla? Told through the lens of a young attorney at the center of the battle, the reader learns how these now legendary and mystical inventors battled in the trenches with hundreds of patent lawsuits and media warfare not unlike we all too often see today. For instance, Edison hired a scientist to build the first “electric chair” to demonstrate the dangers of A/C electricity in an attempt to tarnish that power source and George Westinghouse’s A/C generator business. Throughout the book the reader learns about the personalities of some of our favorite characters from history class. The book also serves as a neophyte’s handbook to understanding the basics electricity. The Last Days of Night is a spirited look at America at the dawn of the electric age and how the personal battles between some of history’s most iconic figures changed the world forever. It’s definitely a must read for summer!
– Brad Owen, Financial Life Planner, CFP® RLP® RMA®