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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TESLA
"I misunderstood Tesla. I think we all misunderstood Tesla. We thought he was a dreamer and a visionary. He did dream but his dreams came true, he did have visions but they were of a real future, not an imaginary one."

The above nice quote from John Stone that graces the Epilogue (page 396) reminds us, and we do need frequent reminding, that real genius, the...
Published 6 months ago by Jet Lagged

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edison and Tesla
Sorry Edison not as great as you're held up to be. Didn't invent the incandescent bulb and AC beat DC for most electrical applications!
Published 3 months ago by Richard


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TESLA, 19 Sep 2013
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"I misunderstood Tesla. I think we all misunderstood Tesla. We thought he was a dreamer and a visionary. He did dream but his dreams came true, he did have visions but they were of a real future, not an imaginary one."

The above nice quote from John Stone that graces the Epilogue (page 396) reminds us, and we do need frequent reminding, that real genius, the dazzling genius that Tesla possessed, was bound to be misunderstood.

This book by W. Bernard Carlson, a science professor at Virginia University, is the latest welcome addition to the ever growing literature on Tesla. Published by Princeton University Press, it is an exceptional and balanced work. You can tell immediately from the generous index that the author has done all his homework. There was so much going on in Tesla's life that it is hard to strike the right balance by condensing it all into a book with just the right amount of pages. What do you include? What do you omit? I think Carlson has come the closest to achieving just the right mix.

As the author himself says in the Introduction:- "In writing about Tesla, one must navigate between unfair criticism and excessive enthusiasm." Yes, that is the ideal and the most sensible way to do it.

I am pleased that the author has gone into necessary technical details more than some others have done previously. Tesla differed from Einstein (a pure theorist) in that he was primarily an experimenter - par excellence. He did not share Einstein's views regarding General Relativity, for example. GR is a beautiful geometric construction but if Tesla objects to it then he at least deserves a hearing. Even if you do not share his views you will broaden your mind by attempting to refute them.

The book also features some photographs that I have not seen before. There is one for example (page 219) of Tesla's lab at East Houston Street where a very large spiral coil is visible at the back of the room.

The only slight quibble I have with this book's production is that the dust cover of my copy is a bit on the flimsy side. But this is a very minor point and nothing to to with the text itself.

I find this well written and thoughtful book provides a sense of perspective that is not always to be found in other works about Tesla. If I was asked to choose which of the many books on Tesla to recommend, I think I should choose this one. It is a pleasure to do so.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book !!!, 3 July 2013
This is the best written serious bookI have ever read-it is compulsive reading and so interesting-full of surprises and amazing facts.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the power of imagination that leads the inventor of the electrical age, 4 Dec 2013
By 
Koos "Koos Reitsma" (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
Having studied Tax Law I am surely no expert in technician's material or in things that have to do with electricity. But I knew a little bit about Tesla and understood he was unknown importance for the electrical age. In Christopher Nolan's movie "The Prestige" about two illusionists Nicolas Tesla, performed by David Bowie, plays an important role.

It intrigued me. It made me more curious about Tesla.

I, the tax lawyer, have had a great pleasure in reading Carlson his book about Tesla, the inventor of the electrical age. It is an sentence well deserved. Carlson has done a great job with this book, because he has been able to write in a clear, understandable language about a difficult and technical subject: the development of the electrical ideas created by Tesla.

The book is a well written biography about Nicolas Tesla. Carlson guides you through Tesla his childhood, school, university, creative mind, brilliant ideas, travelling and living in the USA, his mind blowing performances and his bankruptcy. The book contains different kind of pictures and drawings of Tesla his ideas, all with extra explanation about how `the stuff' works. Only a few times the explanation was for me to technical, but in the end that did not bother me too much.

In the second chapter, Carlson writes: "..., as we go forward with the story, we will see that what counts with subjective rationality is that inventors like Tesla come to believe in so strongly that they are willing to rearrange the external world in order to make their ideals into reality."
After having read the book, I fully agree with those words. The power of imagination.

I think I understand why Christopher Nolan only wanted David Bowie to play the role of Nicolas Tesla.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edison and Tesla, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age (Kindle Edition)
Sorry Edison not as great as you're held up to be. Didn't invent the incandescent bulb and AC beat DC for most electrical applications!
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