The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Thomas Edison is suing George Westinghouse for patent infringement and young attorney Paul Ravath is representing Westinghouse.  Ravath is trying to prove that Westinghouse is allowed to manufacture superior light bulbs because (he feels) there are issues with Edison’s patent while at the same time Westinghouse hires Tesla to improve his alternating current (as opposed to the direct current Edison is installing around New York City.)  While we know how things turned out (sort of) this is the story behind the lawsuit that would change the world.  We know what electricity looks like today — but how did it start and get where it is today?

While I read historical fiction I tend to read stories about regular people living in the past.  I’m not always a fan of fiction using real people, and this book had numerous real people as characters, but it was really well done.  (Should have expected that from the screenwriter of The Imitation Game.)  I found myself furiously reading to see what happened next when I easily could have looked up how it all played out.  The author makes the story read like a legal thriller with a lot of corporate intrigue thrown in and kept it all fascinating.  When you’re done reading the book be sure to check out the author’s website where he does side by side comparisons of what happened in the narrative compared to history here.