Book Review — Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century

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Cross-posted from Goodreads

This was probably the shortest book I’ve ever read, less than 50 pages.

The book is equally about the importance of imagination as it is about Tesla and his discoveries. I wanted to read this book primarily to learn more about Tesla. I had heard a lot of people rave about him and how underappreciated he was. In fact, I got a glimpse of this in the movie ‘The Prestige’ where Tesla (and his ‘magical’ machines) makes a cameo along with hints about his dispute with Edison.

The book starts with the author presenting their views about the criteria for success. A lot of the ideas seem inspired by thoughts expressed in earlier works such as Outliers: The Story of Success. It didn’t hurt to revisit these motivating thoughts. You’ll find my favorite quotes marked here:

Anyway, as I said earlier, my motive was to learn more about Tesla. The book chronicles his early life, successes, failures, and disputes in a way that covers all major events. But some of these events, especially the ‘mystical’ ones are glossed over without many details. I think there was an opportunity to cover at least the major events in more detail. A 100-150 page book would still be a quick read.


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