The enigmatic Nikola Tesla—stalked by his ever-present inner demons—invents the modern world. His astonishing story is that of a new-age god, a genius, a Zeus, a wonderful Wizard, yet a deeply troubled one. He tames the mysterious force called “electricity;” he dazzles the world with his endless inventions and discoveries; he blazes new paths in science that profoundly impact our daily lives; he turns fantasies into realities; his thought experiments disrupt scientific norms; he gives us many of the indispensable tools we use today; and famous actresses and chanteuses clamor for his attention as powerful men desire to be his friend . . . all before an astonished world. Yet all the while he keeps his own counsel, as he simultaneously struggles with the challenging consequences of bipolar disorder: flights of manic energy alternating with depressive depths of great despair. He shuns the clichés of a quotidian life, while forever seeking to “lift the burdens from the shoulders of mankind.” It would become his lifelong leitmotif, but at what cost to him?
The authors Marko Perko and Stephen M. Stahl, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., propose a “new- style biography” entitled T E S L A: His Tremendous and Troubled Life. They will examine Nikola Tesla in a manner that has yet to be accomplished in publishing history―asking and answering the seminal question: Who was the real man with an extremely complex psyche/personality, who lived with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and a hyperthymic temperament spilling over at times into high flying bipolar mania and then crashing into devastating depression—and not simply the iconoclastic scientist who invented the modern world?
NetGalley Review: 5 stars
Last updated on 18 Jan 2022
"Tesla: His Tremendous and Troubled Life by Marko Perko offers an intriguing behind the scenes glimpse into Nikola Tesla's early family life, the events that shaped him, and the mental health issues he had to deal with throughout the years.
Marko did his very best to authenticate details and dates although some of his research turned up different accounts. Sometimes this occurred even with details shared by Tesla himself.When that happened he chose the one that that was shared most often.
I can only imagine the huge amount of effort the author deployed in his research and the resulting comprehensive, fascinating book is extremely well done."—Connie Bisker, consumer reviewer
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Last updated on 31Dec 2021
"This biography of Nikolai Tesla seeks to answer the question: "Who was the real man with an extremely complex psyche/personality, who lived with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and a hyperthymic temperament spilling over at times into high flying bipolar mania and then crashing into devastating depression—and not simply the iconoclastic scientist who invented the modern world?"
DId it answer the question? Yes it did. As someone who went into the book without much prior knowledge about Tesla himself, I thought the information was well-researched and was jam-packed full of details. However, the beginning wasn't really written in a tone meant for the general public. As a result of the tone and detailed nature, I had difficulty picking the book back up each time and almost abandoned it altogether. The tone improved and became more conversational as I read more into his adulthood, his work, and his relationship with other inventors (i.e. contrasting Tesla and Edison). I enjoyed the commentary on his mental illness and how it plagued him throughout his life, particularly regarding his bouts of (hypo)mania turned into depression and the relationship between his mania and productivity.
In general, I would recommend this very detailed book for readers who are interested in the field of engineering or psychology, as either background could serve as a catalyst to learning more about intricacies of his life rather than discovering it for the first time."—Eugi Z, consumer reviewer
Last updated on 13 Dec 2021
"I enjoyed this book. It is interesting and written in a conversational tone. It is not too detailed and the authors don’t get bogged down in the science of Tesla’s inventions. Not much time is spent reality discussing psychiatric aspects of Tesla’s life; I thought there would be more of the latter subject. In addition, the book was more of a hagiography than a biography, with the authors making snide remarks about Tesla’s opponents. Overall, though, it is a worthwhile read. Thank you to Netgalley and Rowman & Littlefield, Prometheus for the advance reader copy."—Stephen Goldberg, freelance writer
“When many think of electricity, what comes to mind is Thomas Edison. Yet lesser-known Nikola Tesla’s brilliance led to many modern marvels, among them: the rotating magnetic field, alternating current, the induction motor, radio, the wireless transmission of power/data, magnetic resonance, the laser, X-rays… many of which were frustratingly credited to others. The success of Elon Musk’s electric car company has thrust Tesla back into the spotlight, giving him a second chance to take his rightful place in history. Biographers Perko and Stahl examine Tesla’s troubled life and brilliant inventions, presenting him in an unvarnished light “warts and all,” tracing his dreams and hallucinations, OCD and obsessions, peeling back the curtain on the real man behind the brilliance. The authors ask us to consider the impact of mental illness on genius, creativity, and invention. This is a true biography for our time.”
Julie M. Albright, Ph.D.
Lecturer, USC MAPP
Applied Psychology + USC Viterbi School of EngineeringUniversity of Southern California