May 21, 10
Read in May, 2010
Standage's short 1998 volume about the social history of the telegraph (and his comparison with the Internet a almost century and a half later) is interesting, and stands up pretty well -- as far as it goes.
Unfortunately, "as far as it goes" is the problem. Details (on technicalities of telegraph design and operation, on pricing and revenues, on administrative and legislative responses to telegraph technology) are thin and spotty, seemingly there only to advance a broad argument. That's a shame, because details would bear out the premise of the book, and provide food for thought for those dealing with today's technologies.