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Tesla: Man Out of Time Paperback – Oct 9 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (Oct. 9 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743215362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743215367
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

About the Author

Margaret Cheney is a biographer of unusual versatility. In addition to her two major studies of Tesla (most recently Tesla: Master of Lightning, with Robert Uth), she has written Midnight at Mabel's, a biography of the great cabaret singer and song stylist Mabel Mercer. Cheney is also the author of Meanwhile Farm and Why: The Serial Killer in America. She lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on April 23 2004
Format: Paperback
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 book, when Tesla is quoted saying this:
"Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating opon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we
call "soul" is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the "soul" ceases likewise."
As you can see, this book is so much more than just about some inventor and his amazing gadgets that created sparks!
My second favorite quote from this book is this:
"There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. The universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and will never end."
Here we can see Tesla was way before his time knowing back then what most scientists today don't know.
This book really shows you a man born way before his time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Cheney introduces the legendary inventor through stories from his life. Later on, the book focuses more on the technical aspects of his life (e.g. patents).
The book is complete with several photographs of the inventor and related material, and it lends itself wonderfully to any reader's understanding and awe.
I believe it is imperative for anyone who wishes to know the real stories of radio, alternating current, and the induction motor to read about how these marvellous developments sprung out of Nikola Tesla's creative mind.
"TESLA: Man Out of Time" is quite current, and the fascinating information therein is objective, allowing the reader to form his own opinions.
Indeed, everyone I know who was read this book wants to hear more of the man who invented the 20th century!
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Format: Paperback
I, like many others, have heard the name of Tesla and knew that he was far-sighted and a great inventor. Many rock fans will remember the group "Tesla" and their album "The Great Radio Controversy". I only mention this because I feel it opened the door for a great many young people to have an interest in Tesla.
This book was engrossing from start to finish. The number of patents, the ideas he presented so far ahead of his time and the inventions he brought forth literally changed the world. He does not get credit for most of what he did. He was just recently added to the Smithsonian Museum for his invention of the radio which many still believe was invented by Marconi. And children are still taught in school that "Thomas Edison invented electricity" but in fact the type of of electrity we use today was put forth by Tesla.
His awesome intelligence invented so many components of micro technology that inventors for years after did not comprehend. For instance, this book brings for the facts that "Inventors of modern computer technology in the last half of the twentieth century repeatedly have been surprised, when seeking patents, to encounter Tesla's basic ones, already on file.
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