The history of the telegraph - the men and women who made it - and its relevance to the current Internet debate
Beginning with the Abbe Nollet's famous experiment of 1746, when he successfully demonstrated that electricity could pass from one end to the other of a chain of two hundred monks, Tom Standage tells the story of the spread of the telegraph and its transformation of the Victorian world. The telegraph was greeted by all the same concerns, hype, social panic and excitement that now surround the Internet, and Standage provides both a fascinating insight into the past and a context in which to think rather differently of today's concerns.
Standage has a wonderful prose style and an excellent eye for the telling and engaging story. Popular history at its best.