This seems like the kind of book I would love, but I was underwhelmed by it. I don’t think Standage really made the case for his title argument, and although the story of the telegraph’s invention and propagation is interesting, it is framed too neatly as a series of solitary discoveries and personality-driven conflicts. There are good stories, however, about the novel uses to which people put the new telegraph (like a remote wedding ceremony, for example). There’s no denying the critical importance of this technology to world history since the 1800s.