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Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy [Paperback]

Tyler Hamilton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2011 1770410082 978-1770410084

A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla—considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago—fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis. From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to a professor and a businessman who are running a company that genetically modifies algae so it can secrete ethanol naturally, these individuals and their unorthodox methods are profiled through first-person interviews, exposing the social, economic, financial, and personal barriers that prevent them from making an impact with their ideas. The existing state of green energy technologies, such as solar, wind, biofuels, smart grid, and energy storage, is also explored, creating a sense of hope against a backdrop of climate dread.

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"Mad Like Tesla is easy to get through, even for readers with only a basic knowledge of energy issues. Hamilton makes complex technologies comprehensible. . . . this book's strong appeal should transcend all borders." —Library Journal (July 1, 2011)

"Hamilton's vivid portrait of some of the people touting new technologies offers insight into why they've had trouble finding mainstream acceptance." —Publishers Weekly (July 18, 2011)

"Canadian science writer Tyler Hamilton has given the scientific community working on renewable energy solutions a public relations boost with his illuminating and important book, Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy." —New York Journal of Books (September 1, 2011)

"From the spellbinding introduction, this one had me." —Seth Godin, entrepreneur, author, Tribes and We Are All Weird

"Each case examined [in Mad Like Tesla] is engaging, and each would-be game-changing technology is intriguing, so it's easy enough to get caught up in the often whimsical nature of the inventors' visions and follow Hamilton along on the ride." —Canadian Geographic (May 2012)

About the Author

Tyler Hamilton writes a weekly green energy and technology column for the Toronto Star and a popular blog called "Clean Break." He is the author of Privacy Payoff. He lives in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, technical without being dense or dull Sept. 7 2011
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in alternative energy. Tyler lays out several "next gen" energy technologies being pushed by people who might be mad geniuses, or else just a little mad. For each, he gives you an excellent primer on the topic at hand (fusion power, orbiting solar power etc), profiles the person developing the technology and delves into the technology itself. It's a subject that could end up dry and dull, or else too superficial to be of any use in the hands of many authors, but after years as a technology journalist, Tyler clearly knows how to give you the details, tell you the story behind the technology and keep it all interesting.
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The detailed and personal stories that Hamilton tells provide an exciting look at emerging energy technologies from the rare perspective of a hopeful pragmatist...

We all know that the world is shaped by both incremental steps and disruptive leaps, especially the high-stakes world of green energy innovation. So, why are the stories of true disruptive innovators so hard to hear for those in the business? Hamilton answers this question through the rare and valuable perspective of a hopeful pragmatist. As a journalist with a substantial tenure in clean energy reporting, he gives us a clear view of the technical, psychological, and economic complexities involved in bringing a game changer to market. But as an environmentalist and loving father invested in his daughters' futures, he reveals to us glimpses of the visions that underdog inventors see so clearly; visions that drive them to persist against incredible odds.

Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! Oct. 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is full of very interesting ideas and creations, sure to give the genius spark within you some fuel to get your creative juices flowing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read! Feb. 19 2012
Tyler has done a thorough job with his research on alternative energy inventors. He uses relatable metaphors to make the book informative and appealing to people who are interested in learning more about clean energy. I follow his blog and have been reading Tyler's articles regularly. He never ceases to amaze me!! I highly recommend this book to all!
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