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Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity Hardcover – June 30, 2013
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"I enjoyed this biography of Nikola Tesla immensely....The first thing one notices about this book is the book. The visual treatment of the subject and the story is unique...[with] excellent illustrations from publications of the day." (R.C. Larlham, author of The Old Man and Me)
"I love this beautiful book on Nikola Tesla....Nikola Tesla, brought alive by this book, will inspire followers from all over the world for many years to come." (R. Sun)
"This is a comprehensive and fascinating treatment of one of the most compelling yet enigmatic figures in American history." (John C. Wiegard)
From the Author
The book is designed to appeal to general readers with a wide range of interests.
Like thrilling personality insights? The book is chock full of interesting stories on Tesla from his "100-bug-powered" windmills as a youth to his practical jokes on Mark Twain in his heyday to his dispute with Einstein as he entered his twilight years.
Into graphic novels? Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity includes many historical comics and photos to spotlight key events and figures in Tesla's spectacular life. The book is an amazing visual experience.
An invention buff? The book captures the prolific inventive mind of Nikola Tesla and how many of his inventions were so far ahead of their time that we are still today relying on his patents for new discoveries.
Turned on by conflict and tension? Tesla's life can be summed up by one of my chapter titles: "A Man Always at War." Delve into the complex relationships he had with Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, Guglielmo Marconi, J.P. Morgan, and others that were sometimes colleagues, and sometimes rivals.
Prefer serious historical biography? Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity traces the great man's life from his childhood in the military frontier, through his schooling and employment in the grand capitals of Europe, to his tumultuous, yet most productive, years in New York City, Colorado Springs, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Niagara Falls.
In short, the book provides insights into a man who has been largely ignored by history despite his huge contributions to modern life. A man who over 100 years ago anticipated that one day we would all be carrying around hand-held devices capable of instant communication across vast distances. Who a century ago promoted and developed renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. A man who left us a legacy that is just now being rediscovered by scientists, the public, and perhaps most ironically, pop culture.
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Tesla was also quite eccentric, which may or may not characterize science fiction writers. He completely eschewed sex or even romance, believing it would interfere with his research. He almost always dressed in formal attire and dined regularly at the finest restaurants, but he had little interest in money or possessions and in fact, died penniless. He periodically isolated himself in his hotel rooms, coming out only to interact with New York City pigeons, of which he was especially fond.
These things can be comfortably gleaned from David Kent’s Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity. Kent writes in easy prose that mirrors Tesla’s penchant for moving on to the next thing. He doesn’t belabor the science behind Tesla’s inventions, which is good for the general reader since there are many inventions to cover. He also doesn’t overanalyze Tesla’s personality and eccentricities, but strikes a nice balance between Tesla the inventor and Tesla the man. The result is a very readable but informative book.
The book itself is a bit eccentric in its design, capturing the substance and strangeness of Tesla. It’s hard covers is oddly thick and heavy, as if emphasizing it’s made to last. The pages are made to look as if they were very old and yellowing. Quotes are often presented as if on lined noted paper pinned to the page. The book is illustrated throughout, sometimes with old newspaper articles or comic strips. The whole design helps to get one into the rather funky spirit of Tesla.
This is an excellent way to discover Tesla, who aside from a car named after his, is largely relegated to the fringes of popular knowledge. It’s also calls up the great age of invention that gave rise to and characterized the 20th Century, a time of Edison, Ford, Westinghouse, Marconi, and many others, who gave us radio, electrification, the automobile, movies, and airplanes.
This book is formatted as a documentary history, with original documents reproduced on its pages along with the author's commentary to add perspective and immediacy. Kent does an excellent job of sifting through the many earlier works on Tesla and presenting a focused and objective overview. He distinguishes between fact and opinion, and devotes a few pages to recounting and exploding conspiracy theories surrounding the subject. Kent does not avoid Tesla's later life, filled with disappointments- but he is right to credit him with key achievements, as well as visionary energy ideas that he never managed to bring to fruition, but which are only now reaching the real world in the form of solar and wind power.
This inspirational work may not be the final word on Tesla, but it is state-of-the-art. Best for high-school and up readers.
This book opens a door and introduces Mr. Tesla to the general public. The well written fluid text combined with various photos and illustrations are very effective in bringing Tesla the person to life. I hardly knew anything about him when I started, and felt I really knew this fascinating person when I finished. The whole reading experience was highly enjoyable.
This book would be a perfect gift to anyone (especially the young generation) who is interested in science and scientists, inventions and modern technology. I can say without hesitation that Nikola Tesla, brought alive by this book, will inspire followers from all over the world for many years to come.