Powering the Dream

Powering the Dream : The History and Promise of Green Technology

3.77 (97 ratings by Goodreads)
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Few today realize that electric cabs dominated Manhattans 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: Weve 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 40.64mm | 612.35g
  • Da Capo Press Inc
  • Cambridge, MA, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16 pages of b/w photos
  • 030681885X
  • 9780306818851
  • 542,314

About Alexis Madrigal

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.Cshow more

Review quote

Reference and Research Book News, June 2011"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."AlterNet.org, 5/30/11"What Madrigal's volume offers is a look at an array of technological innovations, some of them crackpot and some of them very likely alternatives, for how to produce energy in an environmentally sustainable manner. It is a history well worth knowing and exploring, to avoid reinventing the wheel anew with every innovation, as advances in green technologies need to be and will be ratcheted up."San Francisco Chronicle, 7/3/11"An eye-opening history of green alternative energy that rises above politics to present a cautionary tale."Treehugger.com, 6/21/11"A 300+ page tour of the century-long history of renewable energy development in the United States, it amply shows that if you thought people only tried to develop green technology in the past few decades you're sorely mistaken...A fascinating read."Blogcritics.org, 7/9/11show more

Rating details

97 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 22% (21)
4 39% (38)
3 34% (33)
2 5% (5)
1 0% (0)
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