Emphasizing direct quotes from Nikola Tesla, Tesla’s Words explores exciting details about the great inventor that have seldom been fully recognized, or have perhaps been misunderstood.
"A startling peek into the mind of a true genius."
"Indeed, Tesla often suffered from visions and hallucinations."
"Tesla's Words is an eye opening adapted work of Tesla's autobiography."
Tesla's Words is a creative non-fiction book that utilizes exhaustive research to enrich a classic text with additional information, context, and immersive flare in order to highlight previously unexplored aspects of Nikola Tesla's life and also reinforce his genius. The book offers an informative experience that is easy to enjoy and guides the reader on an extraordinary voyage of Tesla's actual words.
Find out more at Teslaswords.com
As author Ellis Oswalt notes in this book’s Introduction, many only recognize the name Tesla because of the automobile powered by the induction motor he invented. In Tesla’s Words: A Stunning Utopia of the Future, Oswalt unpacks this extraordinary prodigy—who invented the first wireless remote control, radio and much more— using the man’s autobiography.
Tesla’s autobiography, only six chapters long, was originally published in Electrical Experimenter Magazine. Oswalt likens the experience of reading it to reading Shakespeare: “It is literature from the past that cannot be understood at a glance.” To make it more accessible to a modern audience, Oswalt offers this simplified, adapted version, bolding direct quotes from the original.
The most well-known story recounted is Tesla’s dispute with Thomas Edison, who allegedly agreed to pay Tesla $50,000 to help his company reconstruct its machines. But Edison never came through with the money. “On completion of this task,” Tesla writes, “it turned out to be a practical joke. Edison never intended to pay me a cent more than my meager wages of eighteen dollars a week.”
The scientist discusses his groundbreaking development of the system of alternating electrical current and other inventions, as well as his predictions for a global wireless communications system – foreshadowing today’s information highway. Despite his amazing achievements, Tesla often struggled financially.
Oswalt maintains Tesla’s stream-of-consciousness writing style, which allows readers a peek into the genius’ complicated mental universe. Indeed, Tesla often suffered from visions and hallucinations. “On my return to the city that night,” he recounts of one episode, “I felt a positive sensation that my brain had caught fire. I saw a light as though a small sun was located in it and I passed the whole night applying cold compressions to my tortured head.”
Tesla’s Words offers a fascinating glimpse into a man whose extraordinary brain whirled with visionary ideas but who suffered for his genius in many ways. It will leave readers with a deeper appreciation for his important contributions to our daily lives.
Also available as an ebook.
Author's Current Residence
Brooklyn, New York
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.
Reviewed by Aimee Jodoin
May 17, 2021
A startling peek into the mind of a true genius.
debut work offers an edited version of Nikola Tesla’s autobiography.
Tesla ranks among the greatest of modern inventors, a pioneer in the field of electrical engineering. He was dedicated to exploring the possibilities of wireless electricity and the delivery of safe and affordable power on a massive scale. He was largely responsible for the alternating current system that revolutionized the distribution of electricity. But, as Oswalt observes, Tesla is all but forgotten today, a situation likely exacerbated by the prohibitively difficult nature of his autobiography, My Inventions, “literature from the past that cannot be understood at a glance.” In order to make Tesla’s extraordinary achievements better known, Oswalt has reworked the inventor’s autobiography, transforming it into a “simplified version for a 21st century audience.” The result is an impressively accessible account still largely rendered in Tesla’s own words that charts his life from his boyhood in Smiljan (modern-day Croatia) to his efforts in France and the United States, including his work for Thomas Edison. Tesla was an indefatigable worker and a visionary with a “passion for electricity.” He died in 1943 but anticipated the rise of artificial intelligence and the creation of the internet. Oswalt’s version of Tesla’s remembrances not only provides a lucid snapshot of his breakthroughs, but also presents the innovator’s interpretation of his scientific activities and his understanding of the ethos of an inventor: “It has been my supreme pleasure to live life as an inventor of the highest status. The inventor’s purpose is to accelerate society ever-more towards the idea of utopia. I am honored and blessed to have lived this life and to be categorized as one of the most successful inventors to date, amongst a very short list.” For those interested in Tesla’s life or the nature of invention itself, this is an edifying work.
A startling peek into the mind of a true genius.
Author Ellis Oswalt is quoted in this recent article from the Australian Associated Press.
Author Ellis Oswalt is quoted in this article from Serbian national news PTC.