The Grid by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.
The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future

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...Bakke sketches a possible design of the "intelligent grid" of the future that uses widely distributed, small-scale generation and storage options to provide resilient and reliable sources of power. A lively analysis of the challenges renewables present to the production and distribution of electricity.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

America's electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It's not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources--solar, wind, and other alternatives--the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It's a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.

Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.

The Grid tells--entertainingly, perceptively--the story of what has been called "the largest machine in the world†?: its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.
 

About Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.

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Gretchen Bakke holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Cultural Anthropology. She has done research on several failing nations, including the Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and Cuba. She is a former fellow in Wesleyan University's Science in Society Program and currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at McGill University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Bakke lives in Montreal, and calls D.C. home when she's in the US.
 
Published July 26, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA. 364 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Business & Economics. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Grid
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Kirkus

Good
on May 18 2016

...Bakke sketches a possible design of the "intelligent grid" of the future that uses widely distributed, small-scale generation and storage options to provide resilient and reliable sources of power. A lively analysis of the challenges renewables present to the production and distribution of electricity.

Read Full Review of The Grid: The Fraying Wires B... | See more reviews from Kirkus

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Molly Sauter on Jul 26 2016

For those reading these words on a computer screen or by the glow of an electric lamp, The Grid throws a welcome light onto the the systems of power generation and distribution that make our society possible.

Read Full Review of The Grid: The Fraying Wires B... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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