Seize the Daylight
Seize the Daylight About Seize the Daylight David Prerau Daylight Saving Time Buy Seize the Daylight
"Engrossing and highly readable ... An excellent read."    

"The best kind of history: rigorous . . . but chock-full of lively anecdotes."
—Kirkus Reviews
"Rewarding . . . well researched and wryly presented."
"Prerau's book is the liveliest chronicle imaginable on this topic."
—Kansas City Star

Seize the Daylight
The Definitive Book on Daylight Saving Time
—The Economist

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 Time tells 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 relates 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 chronicles 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 relates all of these extraordinary tales as well—and a great deal more.


"Engrossing and highly readable history of Daylight Saving Time. . . . Prerau writes knowledgeably about DST . . . Poems and editorial cartoons scattered throughout demonstrate just how fierce and widespread the debate raged. Prerau has compiled what seems to be every intriguing tidbit related to DST . . . Prerau handles the various arguments with admirable skill and evenhandedness . . . An excellent read."

"The surprisingly fascinating history of daylight saving time. . . . [A] delightfully brisk narrative . . . The best kind of history: rigorous and academically informed, but chock-full of lively anecdotes."

"[A] rewarding excursion into the curious history of daylight saving time (DST) . . . Prerau's account is well researched and wryly presented."

"For all those who have been puzzled [about daylight saving time], David Prerau's Seize the Daylight finally provides some answers."
    —USA TODAY  

"Engaging history. "

"Love it or hate it, DST is a fascinating subject in Prerau's hands."

"Charming …I found the whole book a great deal of fun."
    —ORSON SCOTT CARD, author of Ender's Game

"Entertaining . . . The author's expertise, coupled with a brisk and economic style, results in [an] authoritative account, and he navigates a complex subject with . . . ease."

"Lively (yes, lively) history. "

"David Prerau uncovers many captivating facts . . . Prerau's mining of the best of these stories combines with his candid and light writing style to make Seize the Daylight a bright and agreeable read. . . . Prerau's book is the liveliest chronicle imaginable on this topic."

"I had no idea how complex and contentious has been the idea of “saving” daylight during the summer months until I read this book. The book is full of wonderful anecdotes ... I read the book cover-to-cover and thoroughly enjoyed it"

"Fun, informative look at daylight time"
    —KPC NEWSPAPERS, Indiana

"Interesting and funny"

"A delightfully detailed look at a familiar but underappreciated subject. Who knew it required two centuries, a couple of world wars, and a Supreme Court decision to make daylight saving time a reality? After reading David Prerau’s enjoyable and revealing account, you’ll hope we never ‘fall back’ to the dark days before daylight saving time again."
    —GERALD HELFERICH, author of Humboldt’s Cosmos

"History and entertaining anecdotes ... A light-hearted, easy read on the history and current events of time debates."

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All material ©David Prerau 2024