Turn on a switch and from the nearest bulb out pours light from… somewhere; turn on a faucet and water appears. Wires, pipes, and roads support the lives we lead, but the average person doesn’t know where they go or even how they work. In On the Grid, Scott Huler takes the time to understand the systems that sustain our way of life, starting from his own quarter of an acre in North Carolina and traveling as far as ancient Rome.
Each chapter follows one element of infrastructure back to its source. Huler visits power plants, watches new asphalt pavement being laid, and traces a drop of water backward from the faucet to the Gulf of Mexico. He reaches out to guides along the way, both the workers who operate these systems and the people who plan them.
On the Grid brings infrastructure to life and details the ins and outs of our civilization with fascinating, back-to-basics information about the systems we all depend on.
SCOTT HULER is the author of three books, including the acclaimed Defining the Wind. He is a frequent NPR contributor and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, the writer June Spence, and their son.
“Terrific new book . . . a fascinating read.” —Robin Young, host of NPR’s Here and Now
“Scott Huler’s fascinating account of his trips through the mesmerizingly crafted infrastructure that sustains our modern american lives gets us toward an understanding of a system that ought to be celebrated.” —Robert Sullivan, author of The Thoreau You Don’t Know