Though usually a background concern, the aging U.S. electric grid has lately been on the minds of both legislators and consumers. Congress wants to ensure the technological security of this important infrastructure. Consumers want to find alternative ways of powering their homes and businesses. Whatever the deliberation, the grid is topic of great concern in this era of both innovation in power and technological terrorism. But to grasp the current significance of the grid, it is important to understand its history. In her book, The Grid: Biography of an American Technology
(MIT Press, 2017), Julie A. Cohn
, a research historian at the Center for Public History at the University of Houston, offers an examination of the development of historical context of the grid’s development. In so doing she details the characteristics that make the grid a uniquely American technological creation.