Nikola Tesla – Book Review

Title – Nikola Tesla

Author – Sean Patrick

Genre – Non-fiction

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This was the book I had started the month with, but didn’t get around to reviewing it at the time. On the occasion of National Science Day, I thought it would be apt to pen down a few words on a book about science.

Since the name might cause some confusion, Nikola Tesla has got nothing to do with Elon Musk. Musk was not part of Tesla Motors when it was named. The original founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning were deciding whom to name their company after – Nikola Tesla or Michael Faraday. That’s how Tesla (the company) got its name.

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American physicist who is best known for his contributions to modern alternating current electricity, and radiology.

The book is divided into two sections – One delves into the concept of genius: what makes some people geniuses? Is it IQ or more? Is it influenced by genetics or environment?Various geniuses have been featured, over several streams – science, music, sports, art. And then we move on to the second section about the man himself – often described as “The Man Who Invented the 20th Century” – such was the magnitude of Tesla’s contributions to the world of science.

The reader is taken into a whole new world of physics, but the book doesn’t get even a bit too technical or boring, as we are led on through the discoveries of this unassuming personality who was content creating and wanting to make the world better. Tesla never even bothered to patent most of his work – one example cited is of X-rays that are attributed to Willhelm Rontgen, but were actually Tesla’s groundbreaking discoveries. There are countless episodes described of how Edison bullied him, took credit for his work, and attempted to spoil his name and reputation. A lot of insights that might change the way we have known most of our famous scientists.

Tesla believed in chasing discovery and creation, not recognition. No book or review can do justice to the difference this person has made to the modern world. Read this book, for the sake of an individual who has brought so much to the world of science, common things that we use today but don’t even know who contributed so immensely to them. My only grouse is that the section on genius could have been another stand-alone book, with a lot more ground covered on Tesla himself. The second section leaves you wanting to know more about the personality and his discoveries.

Rating – 3/5

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