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Tesla: Inventor of the Modern

4.4  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Nikola Tesla invented the radio, robots, and remote control. His electric induction motors run our appliances and factories, yet he has been largely overlooked by history. In Tesla, Richard Munson presents a comprehensive portrait of this farsighted and underappreciated mastermind.

When his first breakthrough—alternating current, the basis of the electric grid—pitted him ag
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by W. W. Norton Company
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May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher-sent

Nikola Tesla has become a Culture Icon known more for his reputation as a kind of magician and rogue inventor, thanks to the movie The Prestige, and as a visionary, his name recognized because of Tesla Motors. And yet few of us understand that everything we take for granted today--the electric grid, cell phones, satellite television, the Internet, the smartwatch, and even the remote control of warfare--first sprung from his imagination.

I knew Tesla from bits and pieces. I remember when my son
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, newton-mania
I have been wanting to read a biography of Tesla for a while, so I checked this one out of the library. I admired the author's evenhandedness. He lauded Tesla's inventiveness, while shying away from the things that made him problematic. Edison and Westinghouse figure so prominently in Tesla's life, I wonder how prominently he figured in theirs? I was somewhat dismayed to find that I missed by 100 years, and several social classes, a chance to attend a dinner party with John Muir, Samuel Clemens, ...more
Herbert Cole
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great biography of an extraordinary inventor. This book explains Tesla's achievements but also describes his upbringing and relationships. Well researched and written.
Amy Albertson
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating character. Engaging biography. Well written Insightful stories.
Elliott Pierce
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a treat! Finally a readable, enjoyable, and insightful book about Nikola Tesla, the great inventor who usually doesn't obtain the respect he deserves. Munson offers a fast-paced and fluid portrait of the remarkable scientist, but he also explains Tesla's history and highlights his human side. A wonderful read.
Kimberly W
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best biography of Tesla I've read, second only to Tesla's autobiography.
Malcolm Rogers
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At last a book that does Nikola Tesla justice. Munson doesn't suggest Tesla was a superman, even if his inventions were super; he also doesn't focus on the scientist's quirks, even though they impact his life. Munson offers a very well written and fair and insightful biography that reveals a remarkable inventor and fascinating individual. This biography should be read widely.
Susan Collins
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tesla? More people know about the car than the man. Richard Munson does a great job correcting this mistake since the man's life is fascinating and his inventions -- including electric motors and robots -- underpin our economy. "Tesla: Inventor of the Modern" is an easy read, although it is filled with insightful details. Great biography of a remarkable individual that deserve more attention.
Robert Altenburg
You hear so much about Tesla. Without a doubt he is one of the most fascinating characters of the late 19th and early 20th century, but at this point it can be hard to separate the myth from the reality. This new book by Dick Munson not only discusses Tesla’s accomplishments also explores his character and motivations. The story is both inspirational and tragic, but it’s an excellent read.
Greg Anderson
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've long yearned for Tesla information. Biographies to date, however, have been a bit technical and dry ... until now. Richard Munson brings this remarkable inventor to life. Tesla is such an important character and Munson provides the needed attention and credit.

Reads like a novel. Highly recommended.
Deborah Ross
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great biography of an outstanding genius. Munson gives Tesla his due, portraying him as both an brilliant inventor and an engaging human being. Very well written. Populated with personal letters between the scientist and his colleagues/friends.
Christine Peters
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nikola Tesla deserves more recognition, and this book provides that. Tesla is the genius for whom the all-electric car is named, but more importantly he in the early twentieth century invented the electric motor, and he outlined cell phones and lasers. Yet he was also a fascinating character with a dramatic life. Great read.
Gregory Anderson
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best biography I've read in several years. Tesla was a stunning inventor with a dramatic life. . Well told.
Peter Edwards
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well researched and well written. Relies on many letters from Nikola Tesla to his friends and business colleagues -- portraying him as both a genius and a genial individual. Highly recommended.
David Wilson
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At last: a well-written book about Tesla as both a brilliant inventor and human being. Remarkable character. Fascinating read.
Anna Wright
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the man for whom the car is named. Finally we have an engaging and well researched biography of the fascinating Nikola Tesla. This book brings the extraordinary scientist and inventor to life.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book compliments of the author through the Goodreads giveways.

"Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it." - Nikola Tesla

Tesla was a very complicated human being. He was intelligent, neurotic and driven. He accomplished great things, but also sabotaged his own efforts. He couldn't work well under others and had no savvy regarding money. He was a bigger bundle of cont
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Did Tesla invent anything? “Yeah, the 20th century.”

What a man! A true visionary who frequently lacked the means to achieve the visions he saw as applications of his discoveries and inventions, he foresaw things like the internet, smart phones, wireless everything, AI, and labor-saving robots.

Personally, I am incredibly impressed with Tesla’s ability to see—how to make something that works, how something worked, and how to make something that works useful and accessible.

I love the paradoxes that
Elizabeth Waltman
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nikola Tesla is fascinating, and Munson brings him to life. The average reader can appreciate Tesla's brilliant inventions, as well as be enthralled by the man's dramatic life. Brilliant biography; well written.
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Audiobooks: New Nikola Tesla Biography by Richard Munson 3 11 Jun 25, 2018 02:35PM  
Dick Munson is the author of "Tesla: Inventor of the Modern," a biography of the under-appreciate genius who brought us the electric motor, radio, robots, and remote control. He also wrote "From Edison to Enron," a history of the electricity industry; "The Cardinals of Capitol Hill," a behind-the-scenes look at congressional appropriators; and "Cousteau: The Captain and His World," a biography of ...more
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“Kirkus (starred review): A lucid, expertly researched biography of the brilliant Nikola Tesla. (Readers) will absolutely enjoy (Munson’s) sympathetic, insightful portrait.

Booklist: Celebratory, comprehensive profile. ….A well-written, insightful addition to the legacy of this still-underappreciated visionary genius.

Library Journal: Entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers, and futurists will find this biography inspiring.

Gretchen Bakke (author of "The Grid"): Munson has provided us with an intimate tapestry of Tesla's life, personality, and inventions. Filled with quotes, and clearly researched with great care, Munson brings Tesla to life, not as a superhero but as a man—both ordinary and extraordinary. What surprised me, and proved to be one of the great pleasures of the book was to realize how much Tesla’s story is an immigrant story.

Anne Pramaggiore (CEO of Commonwealth Edison): Tesla is an exactingly-researched history and wonderfully crafted tale of one of the most important and fascinating visionaries of the technological age. This book’s teachings have never been more relevant than in today’s world of digital transformation.”
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