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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read !!!
Fascinating book about in my opinion, the father of modern electricity. And a horrible businessman, had trouble putting the book down.
Published 7 months ago by Gregory McCamis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed
If the following snippets from author's preface grab you, you're likely to enjoy this book:
"In 1976...I stumbled across a strange text entitled Return of the Dove which claimed that there was a man not born of this planet who landed as a baby in the mountains of Croatia in 1856...his name was Nikola Tesla."
"...I also examine such questions as whether Tesla...
Published on May 12 2001


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, May 12 2001
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
If the following snippets from author's preface grab you, you're likely to enjoy this book:
"In 1976...I stumbled across a strange text entitled Return of the Dove which claimed that there was a man not born of this planet who landed as a baby in the mountains of Croatia in 1856...his name was Nikola Tesla."
"...I also examine such questions as whether Tesla received impulses from outer space..."
"Using a psychohistorical perspective..."
As for me, I was hoping this book was going to be a serious scientific biography. I've learned a bit, but I have also been left with the distinct feeling that Mr Seifer (a community college psychology instructor) simply doesn't understand historical research and writing well enough to filter through Tesla's own self-contradictory and self-congratulatory statements. The result is a book that reads more like idle speculation than a rigourously researched and analysed biography. Finally, the points others have made on this site about the book's scientific overstatements are well taken
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tesla: Not The Genius Seifer Claims (Revised), May 4 2000
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Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
Seifer did a comprehensive job of documenting Tesla's life but failed in appraising the contributions he made to science. From an engineers point of view, I feel that Seifer either did not have the technical knowledge to judge Tesla's endeavors or he was determined to undertake a crusade to make a scientific saint out him and ignored Tesla's follies.
Tesla did make significant advancements in alternating current machinery and in his work with coils and oscillators. But Tesla's concepts on the propagation of electromagnetic waves, as well as Seifer's interpretation was greatly lacking. Tesla believed that electromagnetic waves traveled as compression waves through the ether. Seifer, on page 102 refers to the 1881 Michelson and Morely experiments as "unsuccessfully tried to measure the ether..." Those experiments proved that, as far as electromagnetic propagation is concerned, there is no ether. Tesla claimed that he could communicate throughout the whole world from one location and went through hundreds of thousands of dollars in attempts to develop this. All one has to do is to look atTesla's Wardenclyffe tower as described and shown in the book to realize that if Tesla were the only one working on wireless communication we might not even have it today. On page 475, Seifer tells of a coil "50 miles in length or one forth the wavelength of light ...." The wave length of light is less than one millionth of a meter. The book describes many other concepts that Tesla raised money for but never brought to fruition. Tesla, as described in the book, was a showman and, perhaps a con artists promising his investors, such as Astor and Morgan, large returns but never accomplishing anything of merit for them. Tesla and Seifer seemed to believe that there was conspiracy against him and used that as an excuse for his lack of success in any of his endeavors after his original contributions to AC machinery.
The author, Seifer, attempts to credit Tesla's half baked concepts to everything we have today from communications to guided missiles, vertical take off airplanes, space defense, plus many other things. Unfortunately, many who read this book with a lack of technical knowledge may believe this. Tesla did contribute to alternating current technology but he was far from the genius Seifer tried to make of him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read !!!, Dec 9 2013
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
Fascinating book about in my opinion, the father of modern electricity. And a horrible businessman, had trouble putting the book down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc J. Seifer, April 20 2013
By 
fastreader - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
That Tesla was a genius is a given.

This book goes deeper than that and at times he does appear to be a wizard. Highly educated, fluent in 12 languages, and a prolific reader Tesla even when young would not just accept something as fact just because some authority figure told him. If it didn't make sense he would investigate it with vigour.

That was both a positive and negative attribute as once he got something in his mind to work on he would do so without appropriate rest until he collapsed. He was driven in the true sense of the word.

Seifer's research for this book must have been intensive as it comprehensive in what is included.
Great mind, Great Book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was AWESOME!, July 16 2002
By 
Chad Laibly (Washington, D.C. United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
If anyone has ever been interested in a the fascinating inventions of Tesla, this book will satisfy this interest and do so much more. It tells of his intellectual genius, and egotistical and financial failings. Tesla was his best and worst enemy, and this book does a nice job of proving both points. A really interesting read, with no slow parts as you might think. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Biography of a Man ahead of his Time, Dec 29 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
Seifer's comprehensive look at Nikola Tesla is unexpected. It is neither dry, formulaic or predictable - even for those familiar with the enigmatic genius. Simply put, it is fascinating, exciting reading. Tesla was credited with the invention of modern AC power generation, remote control, fundamental advances in radio, wireless voice- and data-transfer, the first laser, advanced flight concepts, and a myriad of other inventions. Yet he died without ever achieving the financial rewards one would expect for a man who was truly ahead of his time.
Taking advantage of ill-defined intellectual property laws and the vagaries of international court systems, other well-known inventors such as Pupin, Marconi, and Steinmetz either "borrowed" his discoveries or helped write him out of the history books. While many rode Tesla's coattails to public recognition and, often, staggering financial success - the great man was left penniless and alone.
Seifer pulls no punches. Tesla made a series of startling gaffes. From ill-conceived contracts with Westinghouse (leaving him with no ongoing revenue from his discovery of the AC polyphase system) to poor management of critical projects backed by J.P. Morgan, Tesla disappointed his financiers time and time again. Lack of prioritization, spinning off in too many directions simultaneously, poor project management - all contributed to Tesla's inability to achieve the breakthrough he needed (and deserved) for true financial independence.
Seifer covers Tesla's life in exceptional detail. His bizarre work habits (often sleeping only two hours a night), his odd social life (never married and apparently a lifelong celibate), and his many other idiosyncrasies are described with fascinating anecdotes. You don't need to be an Electrical Engineer, or a Scientist, or even technically savvy to thoroughly enjoy _Wizard_. In a nutshell: superb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very accurate, the most comprehensive book on N.Tesla, Jan. 8 2003
By 
Bogdan Kosanovic (Bethesda, MD United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
Marc did great job covering life and work of Nikola Tesla, a serbian-american inventor who made great contributions to modern science and engineering. Book covers all of the important aspects of Tesla's inventions and scientific discoveries. It covers the broader historical background and explains the importance of Tesla's work to a great detail. It is also very good at explaining "mysteries" surrounding Tesla's personal life. It presents Tesla both as one of the greatest scientist ever as well as a human being. This book is so good since it makes the right balance between technical information (very accurate, with rich bibliography) and Tesla's personal life and social interactions. Therefore it is interesting for both serious scientists who would like to learn from Tesla's work as well as for general population who would like to learn about this extraordinary personality.
Overall, this is the number one book on Tesla so far. The best starting point and reference regarding Tesla's life and work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars About time for the Facts., June 29 2002
By 
"tbmarkus" (Aurora, COLORADO United States) - See all my reviews
Bravo, Bravo.
What a great find. I have been through this book twice and still find myself overwhelmend by the accomplishments of Tesla. The Author was detailed and objective in his writing. Considering the family ties he writes about. What I especially found interesting is the later chapters, addressing the so called occult theory's about Tesla and his works. For the most part, he laid them to rest. Again Bravo! However I am a bit disapointed that there wasn't more on his Invention's and Patent's. I was hoping for a detailed list or drawings on his invetion's. Still, the pictures and accounts of his life, is one of the best I have seen. Over all a must to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Profile, Dec 27 2001
By 
M. Savic (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
This is a well written piece of work by Seifer. It is not as detailed an autobiography as say Cheney's "Tesla: Man Out of Time" but if offers many other aspects that other works do not. What is most beneficial about this read is that the author is a professor of psychology as well as a handwriting expert. This allows him to analyze the habits, writings, and many other idiosyncrasies about Tesla. Another plus is it goes more into detail about Tesla's work than other biographies. A very worthwhile read for future engineers like myself, historians, or people interested in learning more about where many of the devices we use all the time today originated.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Change the title to "Men of Electricity", Dec 18 2001
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Paperback)
This book was not devoted to the life of Nikola Tesla. In addition to Tesla's life, the book contained a brief (and often irrelevant)biography of the many men and women who lived in Tesla's time. Scientist/historians would probably find the technical information in this book interesting.
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