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Tesla: Man Out of Time [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Cheney
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 19.99
Kindle Price: CDN$ 16.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
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Product Description


Discover A dramatic and poignant portrait.

American Scientist Excellent...a significant contribution to the recent history of science...informative and delightful to read.

Publishers Weekly Well documented, sympathetic, and engaging.

Choice Cheney's excellent biography of one of the most idiosyncratic and truly enigmatic "scientists" is both comprehensive and well written...very warmly recommended.

The Sunday Times, London Uncommonly colorful...absorbing.

Product Description

In Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors. Called a madman by his enemies, a genius by others, and an enigma by nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was, without a doubt, a trailblazing inventor who created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming devices that were virtually without theoretical precedent. Tesla not only discovered the rotating magnetic field -- the basis of most alternating-current machinery -- but also introduced us to the fundamentals of robotics, computers, and missile science. Almost supernaturally gifted, unfailingly flamboyant and neurotic, Tesla was troubled by an array of compulsions and phobias and was fond of extravagant, visionary experimentations. He was also a popular man-about-town, admired by men as diverse as Mark Twain and George Westinghouse, and adored by scores of society beauties.

From Tesla's childhood in Yugoslavia to his death in New York in the 1940s, Cheney paints a compelling human portrait and chronicles a lifetime of discoveries that radically altered -- and continue to alter -- the world in which we live. Tesla: Man Out of Time is an in-depth look at the seminal accomplishments of a scientific wizard and a thoughtful examination of the obsessions and eccentricities of the man behind the science.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3374 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743215362
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (Nov. 8 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WKF97C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,660 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 3 2004
Already knowing something about Tesla's eccentric character I was excited to read this book. However, I soon found it confusing, poorly writen, and very easy to put down. Tesla himself is an interesting character who perhaps doesn't get the credit he deserves and his story should be told. He was largely responsible for our advances using alternating current, better understanding of electricity, and he also produced many other inventions. Some of his inventions fell more to the theoretical as opposed to practical side but there can be no doubt that he was a veritable intellect. The problem with Cheney is the book focuses too much on other people instead of Tesla and very little in the way of describing the history of Tesla as a man or of Tesla's character is expounded upon in this book. Instead we are given a bunch of little episodes about Tesla interspersed with droning technical detail. This was supposed to be a biography and not a technical journal. As an example allow me to post part of one of her paragraphs:
*The relevance of ball lightning to fusion research has to do with the problem of confining plasma. The heart of the most common type of experimental fusion reaction involves taking isotopic hydrogen gas and both accelerating and superheating it until the hydrogen nuclei fuse to make helium nuclei, releasing, in the process, staggering amounts of energy. Along the way, while the hydrogen is being charged with vast amounts of kinetic and thermal energy, it enters an imperfectly understood material state known as plasma*
Now, boy doesn't that make for compelling reading! Besides these rather boring technical interludes the book does have a middle section with photographs and smidgets of insight which help prevent making the book a complete waste.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tesla: A sad and amazing tale March 10 2003
I agree with what the other reviewer wrote. About the Tesla book as not focusing on Tesla very much. However, I felt that Cheney was trying to tell us that Tesla didn't 'want' to be known at all. The times that Tesla opened up to america, were to see american corporations clamp down on him and his ideas.... so Tesla became even more the introvert than before.... While yes, his letters to people are opening a little bit, they are quite sad, how he came to love pigeons more than people at the end of his life. Animals never tried to hurt him emotionally or finacially, so he spent all his time with them.
The science could have been deeper but I was not a science major so it was at a perfect level for me as a reader of literature. Perhaps it could have had a middle chapter titled, "Deep science" and most readers could be given the heads up about it, so they could skip it if they wished to. However the main thrust of the book was to enlighten the reader as to how recluse Tesla was and how sad his letters got even though he changed the face of american science more so than Edison did. I was shocked when the US Military did not take his genius and put him to work in some hidden base somewhere. But then they probably had a less budget then compared to today.
Anyway, it was a great read on the long drive to Baja Mexico from Idaho.
Jonathan M
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Definite Tesla Biography Sept. 8 2002
The best biography written on one of the most amazing men of the 20th century, or perhaps of all-time.
Nikola Tesla was one of the world's greatest inventors, and definitely its most mysterious. To say that Telsa was ahead of his time is putting it rather mildly. Most of his inventions were so advanced that the public had a difficult time grasping just how important they really were.
Although Marconi is often credited with the invention of radio, the real credit goes entirely to Tesla. A long-running battle between the two ended when American courts essentially invalidated Marconi's radio patent, and awarded credit for the invention to Nikola Telsla.
In addition to radio, Tesla also invented Alternating Current (AC), which is the form of electricity used to deliver power to most homes and businesses on earth. He also patented hundreds of other inventions, many of which are in use today. Others are yet to be understood by modern scientists.
Probably just as fascinating as Tesla's inventions was Telsa himself though. He was the original, real-life "mad scientist", and often discussed his invention of the "death ray" with the popular press. The world has never seen an inventor the likes of Nikola Tesla, and may never see one again. This book is a fascinating look at an amazing individual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars competent biography Sept. 26 2008
During my research the name of Tesla often came up and each time I read his name and the encompanying tales I was fascinated and had to have a book specificaly written about this man. It would seem that any book about Tesla would be an exciting read as "Lightning in his Hand" proved to be.[..even though this author dispels some of the errors in that book.]
So when I got this book I felt I had found great spoil, as Tesla books seem eternaly hard to find in second hand book stores. I sat down then suddenly realized that this book was written by a woman. If you know Tesla, it seems to me the two don't mix too well. I found myself rereading promo on the covers and such wondering if I had made a bad buy. But I read.
Cheney does a pretty good job of research and does dispel a few myths and corrects some missinformation, so as a research peice it does the job satisfactorily. This is a good and well researched book that rarely shows typical "feminine" traits in the writing and is pretty "all business".
However in retrospect, I realized that there was something missing. When reading about Tesla in other sources, the imaginations soared, and the gears worked over time. Visions of possabilities just kept coming whenever this man was mentioned anywhere. Tesla is a man that inspires us even today. But I found that this promting to imagination and inspiration somehow lacking in this work as this may have been more of a clinical look at Tesla, that somehow left his essence somehow missing or not as fully described as one might expect.
This is a good introduction to Tesla But I would recommend reading other Tesla books to get a sence of this mans's mystery. Perhaps some have made more of Tesla then is reality and this book may bring us crashing to earth so to speak, but I think we all need inspiration to explore the unknown, and somehow this book is nominal at best in this catagory.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book!
Published 5 months ago by Éric St-Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars You may be shocked by this remarkable account of Tesla's life
Nikola Tesla was an inventor who lived around a hundred years ago. He was perhaps the foremost electrical genius of his time. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2007 by Reviewing for dummies
5.0 out of 5 stars More than an inventor!
After reading this book, the whole way of understanding what the human mind is changed for me.
One of the most important things I have ever read in my life came from this very... Read more
Published on April 23 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful and well written book
Tesla was an fascinating but often overlooked historical figure His inventions are still the basis of all major electrical power systems around the world. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by sir_isaac_newton
4.0 out of 5 stars can you ever know enough about Tesla?
like most books about Tesla, useful information can be gleaned from this book, but not all is told here. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2002 by DRYWASHER-BILL
5.0 out of 5 stars An Very Eye Opening Book
I, like many others, have heard the name of Tesla and knew that he was far-sighted and a great inventor. Read more
Published on June 1 2002 by TheHighlander
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating biography for any physicist or engineer
Nikola Tesla, a Serbian immigrant to America, was a strange man. He was frequently referred to in the press as a 'mad genius', and previous biographies have been sensational,... Read more
Published on May 27 2002 by Celia Redmore
1.0 out of 5 stars Had to put it down.
Ms Cheney should clearly have stuck to the historical aspects of Tesla's life and his inventions instead of trying to write about the technical. Read more
Published on May 22 2002 by Chris Pappas
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
This is a very detailed work. Cheney goes into much detail about the inventor. It mentions many very interesting aspects of Tesla's life. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2001
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