Tesla’s Words is an adapted work that was designed for a time when its subject’s predictions have almost all come true.
Tesla’s Words is an eye-opening interpretation of the inventor’s autobiography.
Tesla’s life story, up to the year 1919, when his autobiography was first published, is told in chronological order, from his Croatian childhood to his eventual business ventures in New York City. He divulges that he was afflicted with strange visual hallucinations that began in his youth, which he learned to harness and used to visualize his inventions before building them.
Tesla attended a technical college but dropped out due to boredom. He spent a year gambling and drinking before returning home to work at a telegraph company in Budapest. The opportunity to work for his idol, Thomas Edison, brought him to New York in 1884, but he quit after six months when he realized Edison had played a practical joke on him. At this time, Tesla launched his own company and secured many patents for his inventions, soon patenting his crowning achievement: the alternating current motor.
In the latter part of the book, Tesla shares his technological predictions (most of which are impressive in their accuracy) for the development of remote-control drones, missiles, solar and wind energy, and the internet. He discusses social and religious issues as well, with a focus on peacemaking. As he wrote this work just at the end of WWI, he expresses fears of future wars and their prevention through the widespread use of radio transmission and increased economic equity.
This abridged autobiography highlights Tesla’s original quotes in bold font, suggesting that his style has been maintained; it also presents his story with modern language and grammar. Tesla’s strong, consistent, and engaging voice is sustained, while descriptions of his hallucinations and childhood experiences are eloquent and precise. When he was a child, for instance, he almost drowned while trying to impress his friends; the related scene depicts his tense struggle to escape from beneath the water, displaying his intelligence and building suspense.
This is a thorough picture of the man and his mind, though the book’s examinations of his inventions, and his predictions for the future, are its most fascinating qualities. Despite the technical nature of his work, the presentation of his inventions is concise and accessible, with terminology defined in a straightforward manner. With the context of the world he lived in provided, the effect of his inventions is extraordinary, and his projections for their future implications reveal the true greatness of his mind.
Drawing on Nikola Tesla’s autobiography, Tesla’s Words is an adapted work that was designed for a time when its subject’s predictions have almost all come true.
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