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My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla
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337 of 345 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This is NOT Nikola Tesla's MY INVENTIONS, published in the ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER magazine, February-June and October, 1919 issues. It is a corrupted version of Tesla's autobiography titled THE STRANGE LIFE OF NIKOLA TESLA. The original document was published in booklet form a copy of which was found in a used bookstore in 1994, transcribed, and published on the Internet. The booklet was subsequently found to contain significant errors, omissions, revisions and also some additions that did not appear in the original 6-part serial text.

Buyer beware!
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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The introduction material in this book written by Ben Johnston is well prepared, informative, and brief. It is a good introduction to the rest of the book which is Tesla's writing.
Tesla's own words can be tedious, but hey the language has changed a bit in the last 100 years. He takes a few rabbit trails and talks much of his inventions not what he thinks and feels. I would really like to know why he liked pigeons so much but he never says. What Tesla doesn't say, gives us insights to what is important to him. No serious study of Tesla can neglect this work.
For a more in-depth historical biography of the man see, Margaret Cheney's "Tesla, Man out of Time". ISBN 0-88029-419-1
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102 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
The presentation of Nikola Tesla's fascinating life and work is manhandled in this edition of his autobiography, My Inventions.

The text is full of typographical errors; the letter "i" (referring to Tesla in the first-person) is rarely ever capitalized, and there are numerous misspellings of simple words. Paragraph breaks seem to have been inserted at random and, when compared to other editions, do not correspond with the others' layouts or chapters.

I do not know what Tesla's manuscript looked like or who is responsible for typesetting it for BNPublishing, but it is most telling that Amazon's link to look inside this book redirects to a different edition.
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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
You can read this book in a weekend and it's very interesting.

It's his autobiography, his inventions.

It's available free on the internet in pdf.

You should buy "A man out of Time" instead.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book, Tesla himslef explains the inner workings of his mind. To me, knowing how he actually came up with his inventions is the best any Tesla book could possibly get.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a very personal look at this inventor's life. Unlike many other biographies this autobiography tells us specifically what Tesla's reason were. Tesla also tells many very personal and insightful stories about himself. Many other works site this one because of its invaluable reference. Tells much about the inventor in abridged way.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm really a fan of Tesla and this book was a good view into him as a person. Although the exact same pages of this book can be found in the end portion of the book "The Nikola Tesla Treasury" and I highly suggest that book over this one.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
So you saw "The Prestige" and are intrigued. Good!

This book is for you, then. In fact, I suggest you read this AUTOBIOGRAPHY before you read Cheney's BIOGRAPHY, getting your information from the horse's mouth.

Considering that English is a second language for Tesla, this book is a smooth read. Having a minister father and being polyglot himself, and being blessed with a great memory for poetry, of course, helped out.

As an autobiography, we get to pick Tesla's mind, and see things as he saw him. He candidly talks about his early childhood visions and eidetic memory, and his ability to conceive of inventions solely by concentration. One biographer suggested that Tesla was the avatar of a Venusian spirit. The funny thing is that this is almost believable.

I was also moved by the trauma that he experienced as a child such as the death of his brother, the negative aspects of his vision, and the bouts of hypervigilance where he could hear a watch ticking several rooms away. A friend of mine has had this same affliction, and I pity them both.

My favorite chapter is the first one, where he explains his philosophy of invention:

"The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human needs. This is the difficult task of the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded. But he finds ample compensation in the pleasing exercises of his powers and in the knowledge of being one of that exceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished in the bitter struggle against pitiless elements."

PS--you can find a pdf of this book online. But having it bound makes it easier to read.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Excellent book! Tesla's dry style and wry wit combine to form a greatly intuitive look into the master's life. I whole-heartedly recomend this book!

~B
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Johnston's introduction does more to explain Nikola Tesla than anything I've seen to date. In freeing him from much of the popular myth, Johnston allows Tesla's genius to reveal itself.
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