Learn about all aspects of his life
Got lost in some of the technical discussion on his inventions
I picked this up to learn about a historical figure that I have heard contributed greatly to modern science but short of the Tesla coil I knew nothing about. The book took a deep dive into all aspects of his life and his projects. While I am not electrical engineer I was able to general understand his inventions, but got lost in some of the technical discussions.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
Reading about a man who changed soo much of our technology...for the sake exploration through invention. It is inspiring to consider he did so much, for the sake of doing it, not for the glory or money.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
I liked the book, but I could have done without the psychoanalysis. At one point, the author, Marc J. Seifer, a distant relative of Nikola Tesla, says that Tesla was a megalomaniac. That term has never been used by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Wikipedia defines megalomania as, “Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence.’” Wikipedia goes on to describe one characteristic as an overestimation of one’s own powers.
Tesla was not delusional. Tesla was powerful scientific mind, rivaling his one-time employer, Thomas Alva Edison; and unwillingly providing Gugliemo Marconi the foundation of wave generation and transmission that Marconi developed into long-distance radio transmission. Tesla wasn’t a dupe with respect to Marconi – Marconi used Tesla’s patents without acknowledging Tesla or compensating him. To some extent, Tesla was able to recover money in the Courts, but that was long after Marconi was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics.
Tesla was, however, naïve about finance. Given the opportunity to share business interests 50/50 with financier J.P. Morgan, Tesla insisted that Morgan have controlling interest, 51%. Tesla believed that Morgan would take care of him, and that he and Morgan had the same idealistic world view. Morgan must have believed that Tesla’s socialistic view of technology would lessen Morgan’s profits and powers, and he abandoned Tesla – even though Tesla’s earlier inventions were the basis of much of Morgan’s success. Perhaps Tesla, whom Seifer suspects was gay, was in love with Morgan when he gave Morgan control of a key part of his future.
Tesla wasn’t always right. For example, he rejected Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, even though that supported Tesla’s much earlier discoveries about radio waves. At least, I think that’s what Seifer was saying. I didn’t understand about half the science in the book, but that’s because I lack the physics background. By analogy, Seifer’s transmission was fine; but the receiver was faulty.
“Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius” was an interesting listen. Tesla worked on developing technology, such as the wireless transmission of power, that is possible but not widely used. I liked “Wizard” because it opened the door to the future, as seen from the past.
Im not sure I would listen to this particular book, even though I thought it was excellent. However this book does inspire me to look into other good sources on Tesla.
It would be hard to pinpoint a single event. However it was very interesting to view Tesla through the eyes of his contemporaries. And visa versa.
Good performance. A little dry, but appropriate for a biography. Clear and understandable.
Great book. Good performance. It can be a bit confusing as the author tends to pop back and forth in time however I still recommend the book for anyone remotely interested in Tesla and inventors in general.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite my short time.
Who was Nikola Tesla? I had a vague idea, but after reading this well researched book, I can say I know the man. Without him, I cannot imagine how the world would be. No computer, no radio, no tv, no remote control...
He made a difference, a dent in the world that we live in.
But his personal life was no so bright. He struggled for money (and lost focus in his work because he was so obsessed about constructing his tower), was a celibate, treated the pigeon like his sons and was always kicked off by hotels. In other hand, he was always mixed with the "cream de la cream" of the society, always dressed very well and was frequently bragging that the money would pour in...
He dreamed about free communication and free power, about internet, preached equality between men and women, and cared deep about nature.
Who was Tesla? A unique guy indeed.
Proud to be an old school Gamer and Geek
Only if they were a serious Tesla fan... and enjoy long books with way more information than you ever wanted to know.
This book starts Agonizingly slow and really is a bit like reading a textbook. Tesla is a Brilliant inventor who simply did a poor job of marketing himself. Its interesting to learn that Edison was really the Steve jobs of his age. He did less invention and more 'modification, and improvement' to other peoples ideas.
The reading was a bit dry, but it may also have been the material.
From an educational perspective it was worth it.
I have always been interested in Tesla. I wanted to know more about his inventions, and to understand better why he has faded into history.
This book fulfilled both desires. I learned a lot about his inventions (very interesting), and I learned that he was such an overblown stuffed shirt with a Messiah complex that people couldn't stand him. Frankly, I stopped the book with about an hour to go just because I disliked Tesla's personality so much.
A well researched and exhaustive book on Nikola Tesla. I found the information about the inventor and his relationship with both Thomas Edison and Westinghouse fascinating. Also the extent of his ground breaking and original research in electric power, electric motors, radio and other technologies was interesting. Also the competition between inventors, patent wars, and claims of who was "first" was interesting as well.
Too much time is spent on Tesla's personal life and relationships with different luminaries of the time. Some of his relationships like those with Mark Twain are interesting and added color to the story. Others like Tesla's relationship really more of an acquaintance with Rudyard Kipling seemed to be more of name dropping than essential to the story.
I found some of the cultural aspects like the fascination with life on Mars at the time interesting yet at the same time there was too much detail, and too many examples provided by the author. Much of the details provided seemed like overkill - I felt like I had already gotten the point and was being bludgeoned with additional trivia.
Simon Prebble does a good job in bringing color to the stories and the characters but all in all much of the book seemed repetitious and boring.
If the book were written like a a story as opposed to a History lecture.
No. I feel from this reading he is a talented narrator. reading a poorly written book.
The narrator did a good job reading a history text book.
I had very high hopes for this book. Nikola Tesla was an amazing inventor and visionary. I really wanted to love a book that told his life story. Unfortunately, the book reads like a 22 hour long history lecture. I would have expected a man who's life was as pivotal as Tesla's to have a more story like quality. Some how the book manages to pile fact upon fact in an unending drudgery of point to point history. This book I think would have been everything i'd hoped if it read more like a story of Tesla's life as opposed to a fact sheet peppered with quotes from Tesla and his contemporaries. I dare say I'm sad I used a credit to buy it. Like I said I really really wanted this to be a great book... it's just not.