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The Entire Life Story of Tesla & Edison: Giants of Electrical Engineering

The Greatest People, Book 2
Narrated by: Jerry Beebe
Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook includes biographies on the following men: Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Nikola Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments. Tesla explained the principles of the rotating magnetic field in an induction motor by demonstrating how to make a copper egg stand on end, using a device that he constructed known as the Egg of Columbus and introduced his new steam powered oscillator AC generator. Based on Tesla's new ideas for electrical equipment, including a thermo-magnetic motor idea, Alfred S. Brown and Charles F. Peck formed the Tesla Electric Company.

Nikola Tesla developed an induction motor that ran on alternating current (AC), a power system format that was rapidly expanding in Europe and the United States because of its advantages in long-distance, high-voltage transmission.

There are a lot more to the story than just the light bulb, and there is a lot more to the invention of the light bulb than just Thomas Edison. One thing is for sure that he is still remembered as one of the greatest inventors of all time, and perhaps the greatest that America has ever produced. In truth, Edison was a man who invented a lot of things while bringing about incredible advancements in many other things. With the stock ticker, the telegraph, the light bulb, and motion picture, he may not have invented them, but he improved on them beyond any recognition. They would not be the technologies they were today without Edison’s great mind working on them.

Thomas Edison seems to be remembered these days either the man who invented the light bulb or the man who didn’t. Without knowing any more about him, you are either giving him false praise for something he didn’t do or not taking into account all the other work he did.

©2019 The History Hour (P)2019 The History Hour

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good one


A very interesting account of the beginnings of electricity as we know it today. Interesting slant on well-known and not-so-well-known individuals and their sometimes fractious and downright mean relationships. Tesla should have had an honest business manager to protect him from Edison and Westinghouse, both of whom really gave him the shaft. He died in poverty, yet was responsible for many developments that allow our national grid to function.

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good one


I found this book to be fascinating. At times the writing was a bit thin, but the content was very informative. An in depth study of the introduction of electricity and lighting to the world and if the fierce competition between Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla for dominance in the field.

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An important story


An important story well told by the wonderful writer, Jill Jonnes. I don’t know how she does it. George Westinghouse joins a meeting while munching on an apple!? Astonishing details that bring the story to life.

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good one


I loved this book! I bought it hoping to learn, more than anything, about Tesla. I ended up learning an incredible amount about Tesla, Edison and Westinghouse--and a lot about the time period they lived, as well. Each of the three men came to life in this book!

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The book was rich with information and busted man


The book was rich with information and busted many of the myths that surrounded the early innovators of the electrical power industry. The detailed descriptions of events placed me in the times of the events that surrounded the evolution of electric power generation. I enjoyed reading this book a great deal. It contained information that I did not expect to find in the pages of a historical treatise. Her descriptions were so realistic that I had to ask myself; Was the author actually there?

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This is a splendidly written book


This is a splendidly written book, and is essential history for those who seek to anticipate the future. For almost all of us alive today in the United States, electricity has always been there (even if not always so omnipresent). If we think about a world without electricity at all, it is to wonder what it was like to experience the night with only flickering lamps and candles to push back the shadows. I had never considered, however, what it was like to experience the coming of electricity as a new thing in the world. New brightly burning lights, new quiet motors --- a new power coursing invisibly through thin wires. Over the last dozen decades, an electrical infrastructure swept the country and transformed our lives -- most of our energy consumption is now via electricity. Ms. Jonnes captured the excitement of this transformation at it's very source; the inventors and businessmen who made the future happen. Those of us who have been part of the Internet revolution will recognize many similarities in these two revolutions. All of us should acquaint ourselves with this history of the electrical revolution, because already the seeds of a new electrical infrastructure revolution have sprouted which will again transform our economy.

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A lot is taken for granted.


A lot is taken for granted. Little thought goes into the realization of what is behind that light switch. It is also sad that a few " important" people determine what we have and how it is controlled. The investment bankers were the winners whether we wanted it that way or not

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Great

Illuminating history of three men who moved us into a brighter world, and the dark side of history in this account that never reached American history classes. The author attempts to spice up what could be a dry subject with too many adjectives, which tends to undermine the credibility of the historical interpretation in places, but overall a very worthwhile listen.

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I love books on history and the advances of man.

I love books on history and the advances of man. This book presents the abbreviated biographies of three great inventive pioneers woven together with the story of the use and advancement of electricity. While we take the use of electricity and the many instruments that function because of electricity for granted, this book presents in a well organized fashion the difficulties overcome in its development. From DC to AC. From Arc lighting to the famous incandescent bulbs. Wow, how the developments of these men and their ideas of what electricity could give to the world such a remarkable power harnessed to make man's life a little easier. Tracing the ideas to fruition of these great men, interweaves the capitalist mentality required to make a dream live. There is so much written in such a short book, and yet I found difficulty in putting the book down as it was an enjoyable listen .

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Rather technical but brilliant.

Rather technical but brilliant. Will never forget the chapters on how our politicians created the first electric chair to execute a murderer. The term "cruel and unusual punishment" was first used then--from this horribly bungled event using Thomas Edison's DC invention, after experimenting on animals. This chapter alone is worth the entire book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-19

I loved this book

I loved this book. Many of the Electronics/Electrical professional think the books is short on technical details and many of the new age mystics, conspiracy enthusiasts think the book is to dry and confusing. That is a good indication that the author got the balance correct. I thought the author did a fabulous job in balancing the story. The really difficult part of understanding the genius of Tesla is trying to keep an 1890's mindset while reading what is taking place.

And - the author did not imply that Tesla was a homosexual. He merely stated that some thought that he might have been, and followed that by stating that there is no firm evidence that he was. So to me, that's just part of the story. I am very sensitive to modern liberal jingoism in books and I never got that impression here. An excellent book about a truly incredible personality. Thank you Bernard Carlson!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-19

Carlson’s Tesla book is a great read. Tesla books

Carlson’s Tesla book is a great read. Tesla books tend to deify the man. Carlson’s Tesla book makes a more objective assessment of Tesla and his accomplishments. Although I like placing Tesla on a high pedestal (certainly way above Edison (ruthless) and Marconi (hack)), Carlson offers a fresh perspective and a balanced view, in a well researched and footnoted book. Carlson provides a lot of detail about Tesla's business dealings and cogent explanations for why many of his visions were never realized, and makes a valiant attempt to explain the technology for a non-technical audience. Carlson also provides the best explanation I have seen for the U.S. Government’s involvement with Tesla’s papers after his death. I would have liked to see more about Tesla’s deal with the Soviet’s in the 1930s (p. 388), but that information is probably unattainable (someone should write THAT book). Great job!

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  • Sarah W. Hale$$
  • 04-17-19

There are oodles of books on electrical innovator

There are oodles of books on electrical innovator Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), too many of them filled with tall tales and wishful thinking. A few date back a century or more, but most have appeared since Tesla's death. Carlson, who teaches in the engineering school at the University of Virginia, has gotten behind the Tesla cultists to relate the fascinating story of the man's life, inventions, and eventual failure and sad end. Supported by clear diagrams and photos, 50 pages of notes, and a useful discussion of available sources, Carlson's biography is both readable and credible, which can't be said of most earlier Tesla books. One by one, Carlson takes on and debunks the wilder tales of what Tesla did or did not accomplish, those who conspired for or against him, and various might-have-beens. The truth is amazing enough, even or perhaps especially after all the years of silly whoopla is scraped away. This is a sensible, documented, and insightful telling of a fascinating life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-19

good one

Finally, here's a full-scale, believable biography of Tesla without the new-age and false-science crap encountered in so many other writings on this man. Most statements of fact are footnoted and plenty of Tesla's actual patent diagrams are presented. While some have criticized this book as overly technical, for me it wasn't nearly technical enough (I was an electronics professional in my working years). Instead, the author focuses on Tesla's mental processes as an inventor and how his quirky personality and showmanship influenced his work, successes and failures. Would Tesla's wireless electrical power scheme have worked? The author doesn't clearly answer this question. The list of references and sources would be valuable for anyone who seeks to further investigate Tesla's inventions and his long and still mysterious life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-19

I've read a lot of Tesla biographies,

I've read a lot of Tesla biographies, but this one takes the prize. I haven't quite finished it yet, but find it as 'unputdownable' as any mystery novel. The politics, mystery and intrigues that surrounded Tesla's life are brought to life here, along with a good understanding of electrical technology in general during the subject period. This is not a 'technical' book, but Tesla's major inventions and experiments are covered in sufficient detail and in an easy-to-understand manner. This book is well footnoted for those who whish to dig deeper into the hundreds of references

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  • Marjia
  • 04-17-19

Excellent

Great listen if interested in this area of study. I would listen it again ascend probably will. Would recommend this to anyone

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  • Ron
  • 04-17-19

Recommended

Recommended to anyone who is interested in learning who the real genius was behind all of today's modern conveniences we enjoy

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  • Harrison
  • 04-17-19

good

For those who do not know of Tesla, this book is a must read. It is fast paced and informative.

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  • Ronok
  • 04-17-19

good one

Tesla was a great inventor, very intelligent and wasn’t greedy. Imagine if he was greedy. The world would be a completely different place.

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  • Steven
  • 04-17-19

5 stars

This is a 5 star 'highlights' short story. I've read several books about the Great Inventor, and this quick read tells a good story of Tesla's early years and his rise to fame and the relationships with Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Incredible scientist with over 300 US patents, yet he died penniless and in obscurity.