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)
This book needed some relentless editing.
this book definitely needs to be cut about 30%. I didn't finish it.
Somehow this book manages to make an interesting character seem boring. Patent disputes, details about the generator, commutators and brushes. Tesla shines as a young engineer. Tesla goes into business for himself. Tesla works too hard. Tesla amazes people with high voltage. Tesla gets invited to parties. Tesla doesn't get due credit for inventions.
Thank goodness for Audio books. I'd never get to enjoy a book otherwise!
If you love Steam Punk, you'll love Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius by: Marc Seifer.
Because I am homeschooling my girls, I am always listening to historical books. Soon the girls will be studying electricity. This book will be on their list of reads.
I did not realize how controversial inventions and inventors were throughout the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Individuals were celebrities. The government, corporations and individuals were making deals and breaking deals in a race to the end. It was a dog-it-dog world. A very intriguing time to be alive, I imagine! I think my girls will appreciate the tech we live with daily more after reading this book.
I enjoy history, biographys, and nerdy/ dorky things.
Intelligent, Technical, Sad
The USSR wanted him to build a death ray and Tesla said no.
His portrayals of Edison, and JP Morgan are very good.
How such a brilliant man, died alone, in massive debt, and only companions being his pigeons.
This book is very good in detailing Tesla's life. However, the book gets very technical at times and can be difficult to follow. How Tesla was influenced by and how he influenced some of the greatest people of his time (JP Morgan, Thomas Edison, ect) is worth reading.
I love historical fact based fiction , scifi, and apocalyptic survivalist/zombie types. That said I will listen to almost anything.
No, not based upon this book. It seemed too much of the research/story was based upon bank records and personal communication to or from Tesla. There was enough there to keep going back to but I did not look forward to doing so.
More details of the science behind his inventions and more details of the inventions.
The narration was fine.
Get more done in the limited lifetime we are given.
The book was ok, but the story was a bit long and dreary. Hearing about Teslas long struggle with poverty, legal battles and deranged life did not make for happy or compelling listening. I would have liked more details on the science and the inventions with less emphasis on the money management, personal communications and legal dramas Tesla had to deal with.
No B.S. reviews. I'll never soft-pedal bad writing or inept narration.
This book intends to be the definitive work on the life of Nikola Tesla, and it undoubtedly succeeds. I'm glad I learned about the man through this book, although the storytelling is disjointed, since it's told in an unusual kind of non-chronological order. The overall telling is chronological, but the author jumps back and forth in time without being clear that he's doing it. It would have been simple to let the reader know that background material was being provided, but usually he just launches into the backstory without any cues. It can be quite confusing.
Another odd aspect of the book is the exhaustive detail that's given to ancillary characters, such as those that Tesla was trying to court as investors, even though they never actually became involved in his business ventures.
One significantly disappointing part of the book is its vagueness regarding the Supreme Court decision that upheld the precedence of some of Tesla's radio-transmission patents. There are countless references to the decision, as well as several courtroom vignettes, but no very clear specifics on what was actually decided.
On the up side, I loved the detail regarding Tesla's famous, never-completed tower, which he constructed with funds misappropriated from J. P. Morgan. It's a sad thing for all of us that he never got the chance to fire that sucker up!
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.
Well read, well researched, level headed whilst still paying mind to the mysterious and conspiratorial angles. It's a fascinating story full of inspiration, character flaws, rags to riches to rags to legend. I'm going to miss it.
"Exceptional story but stretched too far.."
Needs trimming and checking for repeat content. Could possibly loose one third of time by sticking to time and moment
"Spell binding and I'm an Engineer"
I enjoyed the linking of the dates to world events. I found the story itself very interesting, I found the observations insightful and I found it quite heart breaking that such a great inventor was frustrated by greedy financiers who had no vision.
Although I will accept Tesla needed strong management to keep him on message.
many that have not been recorded yet I'd love to hear Da Vinci's life story or Baron De Fourier, or Countess Lovelace.
More of the same please biographies of Newton, Einstein, Hitler, Stalin, keep um coming!
No, I usually only listen once to books like this.
The depth of detail and back up research carried out.
Many parts of the book were very enjoyable.
Generally, how Tesla never completed the tower, then it was destroyed.
Good book. A bit long at times but, over all a good book if you like that technology thing.
Profiling the huge contribution of Mr Tesla to the world in general not just electricity. He moved in some very influential circles. This book is very well presented and I found the narration a little sleepy at times, At over 17 hours long this book is a good value purchase and great if like me you spend a lot of time driving, then this book will be a good informative companion arming you with plenty of facts with which to bore people with.
"A definitive analysis of a genius"
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Tesla's life story. I had always imagined him to be brilliant but I now know that he was also an incredibly haunted and flawed individual.
My one criticism would be that the author can take the reader down too many sidelines. Although some of these additional narratives are useful and entertaining, just as many are not and seem to get in the way.
Having said that I would recommend you consider purchasing this book if you have a real interest in Nikola Tesla.
This is my new experience with listening Audio, and I recommend everyone to listen to Audio book.
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