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Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century

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  • By: Tim Higgins
  • 2021 | Hardcover
  • ISBN is 9780385545457 / 0385545452
  • Publisher: Doubleday

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“A deeply reported and business-savvy chronicle of Tesla’s wild ride.” —Walter Isaacson, New York Times Book Review. “[A] sweeping history of the electric-car juggernaut…I’ve covered Tesla as a reporter since 2016. When Higgins writes about facts and situations I’m familiar with, I can attest he’s right on the button, every time.” —Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times. Power Play is the riveting inside story of Elon Musk and Tesla’s bid to build the world’s greatest car—from award-winning Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Tim Higgins. Elon Musk is among the most controversial titans of Silicon Valley. To some he’s a genius and a visionary; to others he’s a mercurial huckster. Billions of dollars have been gained and lost on his tweets; his personal exploits are the stuff of tabloids. But for all his outrageous talk of mind-uploading and space travel, his most audacious vision is the one closest to the ground: the electric car. When Tesla was founded in the 2000s, electric cars were novelties, trotted out and thrown on the scrap heap by carmakers for more than a century. But where most onlookers saw only failure, a small band of Silicon Valley engineers and entrepreneurs saw opportunity. The gas-guzzling car was in need of disruption. They pitted themselves against the biggest, fiercest business rivals in the world, setting out to make a car that was quicker, sexier, smoother, cleaner than the competition. But as the saying goes, to make a small fortune in cars, start with a big fortune. Tesla would undergo a hellish fifteen years, beset by rivals, pressured by investors, hobbled by whistleblowers, buoyed by its loyal supporters. Musk himself would often prove Tesla’s worst enemy—his antics more than once took the company he had initially funded largely with his own money to the brink of collapse. Was he an underdog, an antihero, a conman, or some combination of the three? Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Tim Higgins had a front-row seat for the drama: the pileups, wrestling for control, meltdowns, and the unlikeliest outcome of all, success. A story of power, recklessness, struggle, and triumph, Power Play is an exhilarating look at how a team of eccentrics and innovators beat the odds—and changed the future.

About the Author:

Tim Higgins

TIM HIGGINS is an automotive and technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He appears regularly as a contributor on CNBC. His writing has won several awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, and he is a five-time finalist for the Livingston Awards. After almost a decade reporting on the car business from Detroit, he now lives in San Francisco.

Wall Street Journal’s Higgins on his new Elon Musk book, ‘Power Play’

Power Play by Tim Higgins Reviews:

“A masterclass in narrative journalism, telling the extraordinary story of Tesla’s rise to become one of the most fascinating companies of the 21st century, with inside-the-room detail and color that give it a cinematic feel.”—Bradley Hope, New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale

“Tim Higgins’s portrait of Tesla in Power Play is simultaneously inspirational and troubling, revealing Elon Musk’s risky scrambles to invent the future he’s constantly promising to deliver. Through the tales of Tesla’s frequent near-death experiences and executive firings, readers benefit from Higgins’s depth of reporting in both Silicon Valley and Detroit.”—Sarah Frier, award-winning author of No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram

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