Steve's Reviews > The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution

The Battery by Henry Schlesinger
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Feb 25, 12

Read in February, 2012

I have mixed feelings about this book (I know, I know, my geek is showing). On the one hand, I learned a lot, and Schlesinger does a good job of keeping a potentially dry subject lively and engaging. But on the other hand, this book really isn't about batteries so much as all of the other things that batteries made possible. I learned all kinds of interesting things about telegraphs and stock tickers and cathode ray tubes, but I feel like I still know very little about batteries, which was the whole reason I read the book in the first place. Yes, Schlesinger covers the early development of the battery in great detail, but as the book progressed I got the distinct impression that Schlesinger was much more interested in talking about all of the technologies that surrounded the battery than about the batteries themselves. For instance, you might think that by the end of a book like this one, a book that chronicles the history of the battery, you would understand why we have "AA" and "AAA" batteries along with "C" and "D" batteries, but no "B" batteries. And yet, I still have no idea! I guess I was expecting this book to be mostly about batteries with some discussion of the technologies that they spawned, but it turned out to be the other way around.
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Gary F Agree. Enjoyed this book but it definitely lacked details on the chemical reactions that batteries utilize. Really needed to go into how batteries actually work as opposed to what happens when they work.


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