Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology. Among Tesla's creations were the channeling of alternating current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, and the giant turbines that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls.
©1996 Marc J. Seifer (P)2011 Tantor
"Seifer's vivid, revelatory, exhaustively researched biography rescues pioneer inventor Nikola Tesla from cult status and restores him to his rightful place as a principal architect of the modern age." (Publishers Weekly)
I really enjoyed this insight into the genius that was Tesla. It is a long listen, but worth every minute. However, it is a little diminished by the attempts by the narrator to create characters using different voices and accents.
The reader is very good, but the subject can get too technically confusing on occasion.
There were many details about his life that don't appear to have affected his work but that did give a hint into his psyche and personal life. In a book, rightly so with the subject, mainly focusing on the technical achievements of the inventor, these personal tidbits that have no apparent affect on his work seem more like distractions than useful or insightful information. They seemed to only manage to serve as anecdotal and filler making a long book too much so.
The other problem I had was the jumping around of the timeline. While this doesn't happen often, in comparison to the large amount of story and information about Tesla's life, they were actually more confusing because of their infrequency. If the book had been topical, following a thread of his life or a specific invention this would be common and understandable. That type of book would not be viewed chronologically for the entirety of his life but only in snipits. Where as this book attempted a little of this and a majority of a chronological telling of his life the effect was occasional and mild confusion, buy of course that could just be me.
Overall it's a good book. Just don't expect to sit down and blow through this one quickly. Only a serious Tesla-file would be able to handle this in more than 1-2 hour chunks.
The book well written and reader does a good job, parts are too technical for the average reader.
This was fascinating story. It is very detailed, sometimes overly so, going into minute details regarding of others Tesla was interacting with. I found when discussing the technical aspects of Teslas work it was written in a way to make it understandable to laymen. It is obvious the author really understood Mr. Teslas life and detailed it precisely.
Seifer treats all of Tesla's work as products of genius. A more discriminating approach would have yielded a more nuanced and interesting picture of this intriguing man. As it is, the listeners must sort for themselves between true inventions like the polyphase alternating current motor, and crackpot schemes like death rays. Worst of all, some unquestioning listeners may take it all as literal truth.
Very detailed information about the life of Tesla. At times too much information. Still fascinating though.
I had heard of N Tesla, but knew almost nothing. This book is very complete, and that is good because Nick was an "illuminati". It was tediously long mainly because my knowledge of electronics is rudimentary. I enjoyed it the reader is awesome.
Skiped chapters glad it ended. lacked vivid excitement of the era's in which he lived. but kept lovelesd dry encylsapedic as an IEEE meeting, unvivid,
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