Friday, February 18, 2022

Review of Tesla: His Tremendous and Troubled Life by Marko Perko, Stephen M Stahl

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History
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Elaborate Description


This book is more than just what Tesla’s ideas and inventions contributed to how life is lived, which was so immense that they are ubiquitous.  This book is about who Tesla was, the psychology and culture that made Tesla such an eccentric.  Starting with a childhood which prepared Tesla to reason and think critically.  But a family tragedy, caused childhood trauma that would shake the foundation of the family and impact Tesla’s psychological makeup.  During Tesla’s whole life, there were psychological problems.  The specifics are not known, but Tesla had troubling hallucinations, long periods of depressions, and manic states.  It was during the manic states that Tesla was most productive, and produced the most innovations.  Tesla had periods in which there were too many ideas flowing around that it was a challenge to slow them down, while other periods with barely any.  Tesla’s cultural background instilled a desire for Tesla to invent useful things that can help others.  To better humankind.  For those ideals, Tesla often chose principles over profit.  That caused many financially difficult periods.  An idealism that made Tesla a bit naïve when dealing with people, as many have betrayed Tesla.  


The book’s narrative lacks a bit of flow, making it more difficult to read.  A writing style issue is with how the authors describe history, as predetermined, that the events that happened were inevitable.  This is problematic because there was a lot of uncertainty to the outcomes of events during the time, which the authors sometimes mention. 

Although Tesla’s inventiveness, ingenuity, and intellect cannot be denied, Tesla did not do everything alone.  The authors focus on Tesla as a sole and solitary genius, which is the case, but that is not the whole of what made Tesla so great.  Tesla saw how the available technology could be used and made extraordinary improvements and inventions.  There were many technological ideas that Tesla had that would not be proven or become practical until after Tesla’s death.  But all those ideas had others, who may not have had any of Tesla’s abilities, but were able to compete and complete the technology.

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•How was Tesla brought up?
•What is Tesla’s psychological makeup?
•How did Tesla think? 
•How did Tesla’s cultural background impact Tesla’s decisions?
•What was the purpose for Tesla’s inventions?
•What did Tesla invent?
•What is the War of the Currents? 
•Who betrayed Tesla?
•Who helped Tesla?
•How did Tesla change over time?

Book Details
This book was provided by NetGalley
Edition ISBN:  9781633887725
Pages to read:   302
Publication:     2022
1st Edition:      2022
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          3
Overall           3