|Pages/Publication Date:||177 / 2002|
During the Age of Enlightenment, electricity was considered both an unprecedented novelty and a potential miracle cure that could treat illnesses and bring the dead back to life. Charting our attempts to understand and harness this mysterious power, the author of Newton: The Making of a Genius and Fatal Attraction: Magnetic Mysteries of the Enlightenment examines the discoveries of Benjamin Franklin, America's premier renaissance man; Luigo Galvani, who gleaned remarkable insights from his electrical experiments on dead frogs; and Alessandro Volta, inventor of the world's first battery.
"Vividly captures the ferment created by the new science of the Enlightenment.... [Patricia] Fara deftly shows how new knowledge emerged from a rich mix of improved technology, medical quackery, Continental theorizing, religious doubt and scientific rivalry."—New Scientist
"Neat and stylish.... Fara's account of Benjamin Franklin's circle of friends and colleagues brings them squabbling, eureka-ing to life."—Guardian (London)