Author: Sean Patrick
Setting: Late 19th & early 20th Century USA
A short biography of Nikola Tesla.
The book’s byline says: “Imagination and the Man that invented the 20th Century”. And true to this premise this is a book in two parts - a biography inside another book. It tries to define what is a genius, how imagination plays a role in shaping a genius and then uses the life of Nikola Tesla as an example of a genius.
My key takeaways – Tesla lead an interesting but lonely life, wherein his genius was not fully appreciated by those around. His genius also led him to big battles with another contemporary great Edison, in whose firm he worked. “Battle of the Currents” seems an interesting subject to explore further.
JP Morgan’s acts in the book seem to be the very caricature of a ruthless banker!
Also, the World’s Columbian Exposition of Chicago in 1893 seems to have been quite a remarkable event. And not just for the speech by Swami Vivekananda!
And finally, its high time that all textbooks remove Marconi as the inventor of radio. There are too many claimants. As per this book, Tesla was one. And as every Indian believes so was J C Bose. Inventions, discoveries and patents are a complicated mix!
Overall, a short good book which makes one question the conventional knowledge and makes one explore further.
Previously on BookMarks – The Shoemaker and the Elves