Tim Higgins with Dan Neil - Power Play (Online Event)


Book Passage Presents

Mon., August 9, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Dan Neil

This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.


The outrageous inside story of Elon Musk and Tesla's bid to build the world's greatest car—from award-winning Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Tim Higgins.

Elon Musk is among the most controversial titans of Silicon Valley. To some he's a genius and a visionary; to others he's a mercurial huckster. Billions of dollars have been gained and lost on his tweets; 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. The gas-guzzling car was in need of disruption; the world was ready for Car 2.0. So 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.

But as the saying goes, to make a small fortune in cars, start with a big fortune. 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 more than once took the company he had initially funded largely with his own money 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 is an automotive and technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He appears regularly as a contributor on CNBC. His writing has won several awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, and he is a five-time finalist for the Livingston Awards. After almost a decade reporting on the car business from Detroit, he now lives in San Francisco.

Dan Neil is the author of the “Rumble Seat” column which runs Saturdays in The Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was the auto columnist for the Los Angeles Times from 2003 to 2010. He also wrote the syndicated column “800 Words,” a column about pop culture that was syndicated by Tribune media in 2005 and ran until it was discontinued in 2008. Mr. Neil began his professional writing career with the Spectator, a local free weekly, and began working for The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., as a copy editor in 1989, beginning the paper’s weekly automotive advertising section in 1991. In 1994 he was recruited by AutoWeek magazine as a senior contributing editor and in 1995 he began contributing to The New York Times which continued until 2003. He went to work as a contributing editor at Car and Driver. In 2004 he won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his column and to date, is the only car columnist ever to win a Pulitzer. In addition, Mr. Neil also won the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, from the International Motor Press Association. He also was selected for Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Sports Writing, 2002. Mr. Neil received a B.A. degree in Creative Writing from East Carolina University and an M.A. in English Literature from North Carolina State University. He is married and has twin daughters and a son.


Tim Higgins photo by K. Fischer



Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century By Tim Higgins Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385545457
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - August 3rd, 2021