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 normally enjoy books that combine biography and with explanations of science or technology relevant to the story. I was simply not knowledgeable enough to enjoy this book, because I was not given enough explanation to understand. For example, Tesla and Edison had different ideas for the design of light bulbs, but it wasn't explained in sufficient detail for me to find interest in it.
This is probably my fault, although I didn't find this worthy man's life in the least bit interesting. It all seemed rather dry.
Sorry about the silly title. (Sometimes it is hard to come up with something). But I do find those cars fascinating...
I think Seifer did a great job at bringing about the times of Tesla. He really was there for a period that will forever change history. I also like how he wrapped it up with the beginnings of people coming to terms with Tesla's greatness. My takeaway, this genius needed a publicist and sales guy!
Thomas Edison, just kidding! It was Tesla of course.
He did a great job at carrying out a 22 hour read!
It would've been a long sitting!!!
older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?
This is a fine biography. Telling the story of a man cross-ways with time
Really fine detail and good presentation ... very enjoyable
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of 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.
I found that I could not listen to the narrator talk. I listen to audiobooks during my commute and this one made me sleepy. I was excited to listen to Tesla's story but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing either. It was dull.
The story itself is surprising, the classic elements of a 19th-century tale of giants astride the earth, with lust and madness to boot. I work in technology but this book had me see a more than one thing in a new light, and has built a deep respect in me for Tesla.
Yes, but I would check the length and consider carefully - this one was a monstrous length if consistently interesting and dense. I would love access to the notes and bibliography.
I thought his voices were over-the-top and quite fun therefore. He probably wouldn't appreciate me saying that. Mostly I though it was a very creditable performance.
Maybe but that would have been impossible without a cross-country road trip involving multiple drivers going non-stop. I listened to it while cooking - about 30 minutes to an hour several times a week - and it took me a month. It's a monster.
I recommend this one; filled with facts and questions which I hadn't taken the time to consider. How did we move from no electrical transmission to cities to cables 100 miles or longer, in 1890 - 1905? Why haven't we harnessed the rotational energy of the earth to generate electricity? Etc
Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!
Listening to this absolutely fantastic biography of Nikola Tesla just makes me want to shake my head in sadness and disbelief. His great genius was literally raped by all the money moguls of Wall Street, and Edison? Shame on him! Of course Tesla was at times his own greatest enemy -- not patenting crucial inventions because he wanted to "save the world". Altruism is great in theory, but money talks. If Tesla had had business savvy, he might not have died penniless and alone.
Seifer's book brings to life the clutching, grabbing and clawing for fame and recognition that went on in the early part of the last century that has, unbelievably, finally put mankind in the position that it is now. Cell phones, the worldwide internet -- name just about every electronic device we use today -- and Tesla's inventive genius was the fuel that guided it.
I checked out Wikipedia after I read this book, and Seifer's in-depth portrayal of Tesla is spot on, and rounds out this amazing personality/wizard in such a way that I feel cheated that this man did not have a better and more charitable response to his genius.
Simon Prebble's narration was just fine, although since there was very little dialogue, per se, I wondered why he felt he had to use accents. They weren't really necessary.
This seemed to spend a lot of time in the weeds of Who discovered what, and when, and how could someone profit from it? I had read a biography of Tesla, but I have yet to find his story presented in a truly interesting way. Tesla deserves great credit for his genius, but I came away still somewhat confused of what use it has been to us in the long run.
Continuallty bogged down in details and multiple iterations over the same material
Mor e focus on thhe underlying story line
I finally had to shut it off and I like Mitchner.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
Tesla was a brilliant inventor who has impacted us as much as Edison but is not as well known. The story Seifer paints is one of a brilliant inventor who as a dynamic visionary far ahead of his time tied up in corporate espionage with big names such as Edison, Westinghouse, Morgan and others. If Tesla had gained recognition for his inventions in his time rather then having many of them taken from him he would be much more widely known and would have had a legacy rivaling Edison and Westinghouse for sure.
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