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  • Published: 5 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753554401
  • Imprint: Virgin Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

Power Play

Elon Musk, Tesla, and the Bet of the Century

The fast-paced business story of Tesla: Elon Musk's battle to build the mass-market electric car to change the world

Inside the outrageous, come-from-behind story of Elon Musk and Tesla's bid to build the world's greatest car and the race to drive the future.

Elon Musk is among the most controversial titans of Silicon Valley. To some he's a genius and a visionary and to others he's a mercurial huckster. Billions of dollars have been gained and lost on his tweets and 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 potential and 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.

Tesla would undergo a truly 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 repeatedly taking the company he had funded himself 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.

  • Published: 5 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753554401
  • Imprint: Virgin Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

Tim Higgins

Tim Higgins the automotive and technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal -- one of the few journalists who have spent time deeply immersed in both Silicon Valley and Motor City. Tim has interviewed Elon Musk multiple times, and spent a decade in Detroit reporting on the U.S. auto industry.

Praise for Power Play

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, co-author of the bestseller BILLION DOLLAR WHALE

No matter how you slice it, the story of Elon Musk and Tesla is a riveting one. In Power Play, Tim Higgins also makes the tale of Musk and Tesla compulsively readable, to say nothing of lively, fun and insightful!

William D. Cohan, bestselling author of HOUSE OF CARDS

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, Financial Times prize-winning author of NO FILTER

Tim Higgins's electric narrative takes us through Tesla's every hairpin turn.... This case study on the thin line between madness and genius is set against a monumental backdrop: the rivalry between Silicon Valley and Detroit to develop and popularize the electric car

John Helyar, co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller BARBARIANS AT THE GATE

Readers fascinated by the hype of Tesla history will find a gold mine of facts and foibles in this immersive analysis

Kirkus Reviews

in-depth and well-balanced ... a sometimes appalling, occasionally inspiring, and always entertaining saga

Publishers Weekly

A well-documented and comprehensive look at Tesla, Elon Musk, and the people involved with its creation and successes

Library Journal

"Exemplary...[Higgins] has interviewed hundreds of people associated with Tesla, both past and present. He knows the financial story like the back of his hand.

The Times

[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

Los Angeles Times

Tim Higgins's compelling and deeply reported history of Tesla addresses the essential question of how this upstart automaker came from nowhere to become one of the most valuable companies on Earth...An exceptional work of business journalism

Washington Post

Tense, detailed and well-crafted... Power Play is a business thriller for real.... A clear, deeply reported and engaging account of how Musk launched a truly transformational car

Associated Press

Higgins, who covers technology and autos for the Wall Street Journal, has done an outstanding job. He's performed a deep dive into the nuts and volts of Tesla. His book is extensively researched, including interviews with (unfortunately but understandably) anonymous current and former execs

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Richly detailed... Higgins manages to deliver an evenhanded account that brings us up to date from Ashlee Vance's 2015 biography of Musk-the prior definitive Tesla account-and has a more urgent feel, given everything that has happened the past few years

The Information

a high-resolution portrait of how exactly an unusual man and an unusual company managed a meteoric rise.... The tale of Tesla's ascent is inherently dramatic and compellingly told


A riveting saga...Power Play reads like a novel

The Free Lance-Star

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