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Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius Paperback – August 30, 2016
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If you have ever worked in a startup or contributed to a venture capital effort, you will recognize the characters of this book as being similar to the capitalists of today.
I greatly enjoyed it and learned much. I will never look at our world the same way after reading it.
Tesla was a genius, but at the same time he had little appreciation of money. He found it easy to give away what he should have kept for himself. As a result, Tesla was also something of a fraud, or if that's too strong, a mooch. He ran up numerous bills he couldn't pay.
Autistic? Almost certainly. Tesla had an amazing ability to concentrate. He also had a very unusual, very highly trained memory.
Flawed ability to earn money, too liberal with his spending, yet Tesla can truly be described as the man who invented the 20th and a major part of the 21st Centuries.
To find out what he invented and more about this amazing man, read the book.
The book traces nicely the trajectory of Tesla's career. We learn of his youth and his formative influences. He moved to the United States and began his work inventing devices. Early on, he came up with an electrical system--A.C.--as opposed to Thomas Edison's D.C. The two ended up--at best--as frenemies, and often sniped with one another. The same with Guglielmo Marconi.
When one considers Tesla's discoveries, it is clear that he was a major figure in his field. He gained the support of major figures, such as George Westinghouse. But, with time, he began to deliver less and less, as some of his eccentricities took center stage. At one point, he thought he was receiving signals from Mars. His eccentricity did not work in his favor.
And he liked to live well. But he met with reverses. He created Wardenclyffe, an enormous effort to develop wireless communication that could cover stupefying distances. Because of his poor business model, all was lost.
The book well covers his genius--and his shortcomings and stubbornness.
Want to learn more about a genuine genius? Take a look at this work. It is not always the most elegantly written, but the work is still quite readable. Documentation is solid.