Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age Paperback – 27 Apr 2015
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"Winner of the 2015 Sally Hacker Prize, Society for the History of Technology"
"Winner of the 2015 IEEE William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award, History Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers"
"One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013"
"Honorable Mention for the 2013 PROSE Award in Biography & Autobiography, Association of American Publishers"
"Longlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books"
"[An] assiduous, endlessly patient biography. . . . In Carlson's eyes, Tesla's relationship with modernity in all its forms--its fixation with progress and explanation, capital and connection, but also its fragmentation of narrative and self--is more complex and revealing than even the conspiracy nuts have imagined."---Richard Barnett, London Review of Books
"Carlson sheds light on the man and plenty of his inventions. . . . [An] electric portrait."--Publishers Weekly
"Superb. . . . Carlson brings to life Tesla's extravagant self-promotion, as well as his eccentricity and innate talents, revealing him as a celebrity-inventor of the 'second industrial revolution' to rival Thomas Alva Edison."---W. Patrick McCray, Nature
"Soundly footnoted, yet eminently readable, it provides a balanced examination of the man and his work, focusing particularly on Tesla's distinctive style of invention."--Natural History
"Carefully researched and thoughtfully written. . . . Clearly surpassing earlier accounts, [this] will be the gold standard for Tesla biography."---Thomas J. Misa, Science
From the Back Cover
"Carlson has written a serious, rigorous book grounded in the academic history of technology, but also a page-turner that any fan of Tesla will enjoy."--Robert MacDougall, Western University
"Nikola Tesla, like one of his oscillators, flickered between different states so quickly that they can easily blur. Carlson captures this extraordinary, contradictory life--inventor, futurist visionary, showman, and, at times, ranting narcissist. We get to see how Tesla scrambled like mad, built with ambition, and in his later efforts failed monumentally. Here is a book that guides us through this wild ride with empathy and without hagiography."--Peter Galison, Harvard University
"Combining archival research with the latest scholarship from the history of technology, Carlson has written the balanced, scholarly biography that Nikola Tesla has long deserved. This is the definitive study of his life and work."--David E. Nye, University of Southern Denmark
"Most biographies of Tesla lack technical background and are uncritical and adulatory in their approach. Carlson's perspective as a historian--particularly a historian of technology--is indispensable for understanding Tesla's place in the rapidly changing American society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His style is engaging and accessible, and the book will clearly be of value to the historical community."--Bernard S. Finn, curator emeritus, Smithsonian Institution
"Tesla is a tour de force of scholarship and analysis. This is the definitive work on Tesla that brings to light much new information about his life, his inventions, and the changing socioeconomic context in which he worked. Carlson has mined the primary sources to an unprecedented depth and breadth. The book is nothing less than extraordinary."--Michael Brian Schiffer, author of Power Struggles: Scientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity before EdisonSee all Product description
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It made me more curious about Tesla, I wanted to know more and this book provided me very good information. I have had a great pleasure in reading Carlson’s book about Tesla. Nicolas Tesla is called the inventor of the electrical age. After this book I think I can understand why and I think 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. At least, for me as a lawyer I have found it very helpfull to have the information explained in clear, understandable and not too technical electrician-style language. Maybe this could be the reason that for some experts in ‘electrical stuff’ (no meaning to offence somebody) have some difficulties in reading the book, because of its low level of technical details for them.
I think the book is a well written biography about Nicolas Tesla. Carlson has guided me through Tesla his childhood, school, his time at the university, his 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 electrical stuff' works. Only a few times the explanation was for me to technical, but that did not bother me too much. Because basicly the book as a whole was not too technical. With this book I have come to understand more of Nicolas Tesla his influence on modern life.
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. It’s the power of imagination. It’s not that I have become the biggest fan of Nicolas Tesla. But I do believe that he deserves more credits and acknowledgement then he has received during his life.