Box 32, Kingston, RI 02881
Phone: (401) 294-2414
Facsimile: (401) 294-8429
The story of one of the most prolific, independent and iconoclastic inventors of this century is a fascinating one.... The author presents much new material... [and] bases his book on a large number of archival and primary sources.... Underneath the layers ... the core of Seifer's book is a serious piece of scholarship. 3-page review SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Nikola Tesla is credited by many as the inventor of radio and should have received most of the credit for the development of modern electricity ..... [Wizard] painstakingly documents Tesla's wideranging contributions.... Seifer has analyzed extensive sources, many not previously used by Tesla biographers, to provide a detailed interpretation of his life.
Seifer's vivid, revelatory, exhaustively researched biography rescues pioneer inventor Nikola Tesla from cult status and restores him to his rightful place as a principal architect of the modern age.... Seifer provides the fullest account yet of Tesla as an entrepreneur, experimental physicist and inventor.
Boxed & Starred PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
Marc Seifer is an excellent writer and scholar, who has produced a wonderfully readable and illuminating biography of one of the most intriguing men of this century.... making us understand not only the man, but also the times in which he lived.... a masterpiece.
Author NELSON DEMILLE
Seifer's biography rescues [Tesla] from oblivion, bringing back to life the amazingly creative intellect that gave us fluorescent lighting, wireless communication, cheap electrical power and the remote control. But Seifer also resurrects the wounded, self-destructive personality who never recovered from the loss of a favored older brother and who spiraled into weird obsessions, mental collapse and poverty as he watched other men use his inventions to win fame and riches. Seifer does an admirable job of explaining his subject's technical feats and analyzing his psychological idiosyncrasies. Tinged with pathos, this meticulously researched biography deserves attention from all who would understand the human tragedies played out in the shadows of our neon culture.
Book examines genius inventor and his elimination from history.... Seifer started his quest as a psychological study. He wanted to determine how a man with such revolutionary vision could be all but eliminated from the history books. THE FALL RIVER HERALD NEWS
Rare insight on a great mind.
Full-page story NEW BEDFORD STANDARD TIMES
The best chapter in Seifer's book describes late 19th century science fiction and locates Tesla's projects among other predictions of the future... Seifer is [also] good at describing Tesla's lack of practical, economic and personal judgment and the way his enormous ego invited unscrupulous partners....
WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
The next time you dial your cellular phone, there's a guy you should think of. If you don't use a cell phone, then look at the light by which you're reading this newspaper. He helped make it brighter.... Wizard chronicles Tesla's contributions to alternating current, or AC, the electrical system used in most homes today. Though today is almost forgotten, written out of history by the people he once worked for, Tesla lived in New York's Waldorf Astoria and was world famous.... "His notebooks are filled with mathematics," said Seifer. "He predates Einstein and Bohr with his description of the atom. He was one of the forefathers of quantum physics."
Full -page story NARRAGANSETT TIMES
With Wizard we are given a balanced, unabashed image of an exceptional intellect..... It is with books such as these that Tesla's woefully unmerited obscurity is dissipated once and for all. This book is fine reading.
LONG ISLAND SOUNDER Educational Society For Resource Management
[Wizard] brings the many complex facets of [Tesla's] personal and technical life together in to a cohesive whole.... The book contains excellent discussions of the controversies, fury of activity, and lawsuits surrounding the development of new hardware technology. In many ways, they are similar to the later legal battles in the development of computers.... I highly recommend this biography of a great technologist. A.A. Mullin, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command.
Seifer paints a picture of Tesla that anyone familiar with the life of someone such as Orson Welles will recognize. Here was a man who peaked early, traveled in famous company.... and started believing his own press hype. That made him spend the rest of his life trying to score another universe-changing coup..... Wizard does a pretty good job of placing Tesla within the firmament of inventors, thinkers and futurists. With Seifer's scholarship to build on, anyone reconstructing those dizzy years of invention and litigation at the turn of the century would be foolish to try and leave out Nikola Tesla.
WINSTON-SALEM NC JOURNAL
A fascinating and comprehensive biography of one of the most important, yet overlooked scientific minds of the early 20th Century.
It was Seifer's... intention to bring ... Tesla's... major scientific and technological contributions... together. He has done a very impressive job of collecting a massive amount of documentation of original and secondary sources.... The letters in the J.P. Morgan collection, in particular, shed considerable new light on Tesla's connection with Morgan and his contemporaries.
Wizard is a definitive and readable work, a well-rounded examination of the mystery of Tesla's great genius.
This new Tesla biography, Wizard, is seriously researched and utterly absorbing with chapters charting all stages of Tesla's life.... Seifer treats his prodigious subject with sympathy and realism.
Despite Tesla's impact on electricity, history does not regard him as highly as many of his inventive contemporaries.... As Seifer shows in great detail... Tesla's story is complicated and tests our definition of science... Where does someone like Tesla fit in?
MIT'S TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
Wizard... presents a much more accurate... picture of Tesla.... [It] is thorough, informative, entertaining and a valuable addition to electrotechnological history, past and future.
ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMES
In this moving biography, Tesla is brought back to life and deserved glory. As we witness the panorama of his life and achievements through the pages of this book, we not only marvel at this extraordinary man, but realize how much we owe him for our comforts and conveniences. [For] all levels.
Here is a deep and comprehensive biography of a great engineer of early electrical science. Indeed, it is likely to become the definitive biography of the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. The book brings together, into a cohesive whole, the many complex facets of the personal and technical life of the "wizard" who stands alongside Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse as another great implementor and inventor.... Highly recommended.
AMERICAN ACADEMY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
In modern times, Tesla may be enjoying a comeback thanks to books like "Wizard".
Full -page story Long Island Weekly Section NEW YORK TIMES
WIZARD has received exceptionally high marks from numerous reviewers, called REVELATORY by Publishers Weekly, UTTERLY ABSORBING by Nexus, A SERIOUS PIECE OF SCHOLARSHIP by Scientific American, A MASTERPIECE by Nelson DeMille and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the American Society for the Advancement of Science.
Below are a few of them:
Vol. 33, Number 5, June/July 1997
SEIFER, MARC J. Wizard: The Life & Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius. Birch Lane Press, Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 1055972 329-7. Index, xiv + 542pp.
Here is a deep and comprehensive biography of a great engineer of early electrical science. Indeed, it is likely to become the definitive biography of the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. The book brings together, into a cohesive whole, the many complex facets of the personal and technical life of the "wizard" who stands alongside Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse as another great implementor and inventor. Tesla is best known for his invention and development of induction motors, the standard electric-power distribution system, and "wireless" communications. The book discusses very well the specific controversies, flurry of activity, and lawsuits surrounding the development of new hardware technology -- in many ways, similar to the legal battles in the development of computers much later. The many interesting topics presented in detail are evident in the chapter titles: "Heritage"; "Childhood"; "College Years"; "Bogus Inventors": "The Royal Society"; "Niagara Power"; "High Society"; "Colorado Springs"; "Clash of the Titans"; and "The FBI and the Tesla Papers." In addition, there is an extensive bibliography and many scholarly notes in this highly recommended biography of a great technologist. -- Albert A. Mullin, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, Huntsville, AL
October 28, 1996
WIZARD The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla; Biography of a Genius
Birch Lane, $32.00 hardcover Citadel Press, $19.95 softcover (540p) ISBN 1-55972-329-7
Seifer's vivid, revelatory, exhaustively researched biography rescues pioneer inventor Nikola Tesla from cult status and restores him to his rightful place as a principal architect of the modern age. Based largely on firsthand documents including Tesla's writings, his patents and those of competitors, it credits the Croatian-born Serb, who moved to New York in 1884, with the invention of the induction motor, long-distance electrical power distribution, fluorescent and neon lights, the first true radio tube and remote control, besides making vital contributions to the technology underlying television, wireless communication, robotics, lasers, the facsimile machine and particle-beam weaponry anticipa- ting the space-based "Star Wars" defensive shield.
Though often depicted as a recluse, flamboyant nouveau- rich Tesla (1856-1943) lived in Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for two decades, and hobnobbed with architect Stanford White, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, conservationist John Muir, mogul John Jacob Astor IV and Swami Vivekananda. Yet the electronic wizard, who competed fiercely with Marconi and with his one-time employer Edison, became swamped in debt, abandoned by a world he helped create, ending his days in seedy poverty, a bitter, anorexic eccentric obsessed with feeding pigeons and avoiding germs.
Seifer, who teaches psychology at Community College of Rhode Island, attributes Tesla's downfall partly to his megalomaniacal, neurotic, self-destructive tendencies, partly to a quagmire of litigation and also to his Faustian pact with his ambivalent benefactor, Wall Street financier J. Pierpont Morgan, to whom he relinquished control of several patents. Morgan, suggests Seifer, stymied Tesla's visionary scheme for a global, wireless power-distribution system because, if realized, it would jeopardize electrical, lighting and telephone monopolies. Seifer provides the fullest account yet of Tesla as an entrepreneur, experimental physicist and inventor. Photos. (Nov.)
November 15, 1996
American Library Association
Seifer, Marc. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Biography of a Genius. Nov. 1996. 540 p. Index. illus. Birch Lane, $32 (1055972-329-7). DDC: 621.3.
What kind of genius can fathom the mysteries of electromagnetism but cannot keep corporate lawyers from taking him to the cleaners? Perhaps because his life did not culminate in wealth and acclaim, Nikola Tesla has largely slipped from the national memory. Seifer's biography rescues him from oblivion, bringing back to life the amazingly creative intellect that gave us fluorescent lighting, wireless communication, cheap electrical power and the remote control. But Seifer also resurrects the wounded, self-destructive personality who never recovered from the loss of a favored older brother and who spiraled into weird obsessions, mental collapse and poverty as he watched other men use his inventions to win fame and riches. Seifer does an admirable job of explaining his subject's technical feats and analyzing his psychological idiosyncrasies. Tinged with pathos, this meticulously researched biography deserves attention from all who would understand the human tragedies played out in the shadows of our neon culture. Notes, appendix and bibliography.
-- Bryce Christensen
Citadel Press Carol Publishing Group, Secaucus, NJ (201) 866-0490