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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

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.

© Tim Higgins 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

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

    Kirkus Reviews

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