GREAT SUMMER READ: Wizard The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla By Marc Seifer

Question for you: have you ever wondered what would have happened if there was a slight deviation in history? Philip Roth wrote a novel about what would have happened if Hitler’s Germany had won the second world war. Its an interesting concept which academics eschew as it runs full tilt into the world of speculation and fancy. But history is not made of events that happen because they should. It is an obscene battle of power, brutality and might, tempered with a pinch of luck and occasional insight. Such is my interest in Nikola Tesla, the Serbian genius who emigrated here in 1882 and who, more than any other single person is responsible for developing AC current, is credited with the inspiration for radio, robots and radar. But Tesla had a broader dream–a wireless worldwide web of free radiant electricity to lift mankind from the mud. Marc Seifer, the author of this detailed biography of Tesla is related to him. Nikola Tesla was his father’s uncle and his kinship is evident in this work of love, which is quite suitable for my purposes. As a litigation attorney, I wanted to understand the dynamics of how Tesla’s detractors, including Thomas Edison, destroyed Tesla’s place in history. History, like electricity is a dynamic, non-static force and this requires constant vigilance, skill and a willingness to fight to the end in order to win. The end is easily defined: death both financial and physical. I recommend this book. It’s not a wonderful read in a literary sense but if you have an interest in Tesla the man and why he failed, in massive debt upon his death. Buy this one. One other thing. I believe that if Tesla had more backing, we would not have an energy crisis now–no reliance on fossil fuel, no spectre of global warming, no threat to the environment. The proof? Read my book when it is completed. Jeff