Seize the Daylight by David Prerau

Weekly Trip to the Library

Benjamin Franklin conceived of it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle endorsed it. Winston Churchill campaigned for it. Kaiser Wilhelm first employed it. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt went to war with it, and the United States fought an energy crisis with it.

For several months every year, daylight saving time (DST) affects well over a billion people throughout the world. Yet most people switch their clocks backward and forward without ever understanding where this revolutionary idea came from or how, throughout its history, DST has led to surprisingly contentious clashes between numerous politicians, scientists, and interest groups in the United States and all across the globe.

Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Timetells the remarkable story of daylight saving time — the intriguing and entertaining tale of our attempt to regulate the sunlight hours. The book is full of funny anecdotes and remarkably quirky individuals, and was written by David Prerau, who has been called the world’s leading authority on the subject.  Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Timerelates the fascinating stories behind the movement for DST in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and throughout the world.

The goal of daylight saving time — to use daylight to its maximum advantage — is generally recognized to be of universal benefit. But few people understand how surprisingly controversial this deceptively simple idea has been. Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Timechronicles the long-standing debates: Proponents have proclaimed DST’s benefits, including saving energy, reducing automobile accidents, providing more daylight for outdoor activities, cutting crime, and many others. But DST also has had many detractors — from farmers to parents of schoolchildren — who have waged contentious battles against it.

In addition to energy, accidents, and crime, daylight saving time affects a very wide variety of other, often unexpected areas, from Mid-East terrorism to the attendance at London music halls, voter turnout to gardening, street crime to the profits of radio stations. Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Timerelates all of these extraordinary tales as well — and a great deal more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: