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perspectives

Addressing broader issues raised by the blackouts


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It is challenging to imagine the blackouts as anything but technological accidents--oversights of management and engineering quickly and inevitably corrected. Yet these failures were far from random. The blackouts revealed an intersection of long-term developments which have often been overlooked, underestimated, or studied as disconnected phenomena.

Experts with unique perspectives address two important aspects of these developments:

The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 and the New York City Blackout of 1977 each, in its own way, challenged the electric utility industry to rethink its technologies and operating procedures. This section of Perspectives presents the lessons learned in each power failure by power engineers and their employers.

Read the essays >

Jack Feinstein

Bruce Wollenberg

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The blackouts opened a window on profound historical changes during the 1960s and 1970s. In this section we look at three important dimensions of the 1965 and 1977 blackouts: economic, social and political.

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Joshua B. Freeman

Richard Hirsh


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jts{27 June 2000}