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Books to Borrow Williamsburg Public Library Recommends



March 28, 2019

Master of the historical novel genre Erik Larson had this to say about "The Last Days of Night." "Graham Moore takes us back to the dawn of light – electric light – into a world of invention and skullduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla, and the novel's hero, a young lawyer named Paul Cravath (a name that will resonate with ambitious law students everywhere). It's part legal thriller, a part tour of a magical time – the age of wonder."

In the New York of 1888 gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history, and a fortune.

A young, untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes what seems to be an impossible case to win. Paul's client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and who holds the rights to power?

The case catapults Paul into the world of New York high society, the glittering parties, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task before him is daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal; from newspapers, to J. P. Morgan's backing, all the way to the New York State House. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his worthy adversary the will to win at all costs. How will he do it? In part, by doing what Edison himself had done so well; harnessing cleverness. Paul applies Edison's own system of employing engineers to solve the problems around his ideas, by assembling a legal team to research, investigate and problem solve.

In this pursuit of this victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison. Also drawn into this web of intrigue is Agnes Huntingdon, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer, on stage and off.

As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he'll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.


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