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My Inventions and Other Writings

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  424 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The fascinating autobiography of the legendary inventor behind the radio, wireless energy, robotics, and much more.

Famous for his pioneering contributions to the electronic age, his lifelong feud with Thomas Edison, and his erratic behavior, Nikola Tesla was one of the most brilliant and daring inventors and visionaries of his time. My Inventions is Tesla's autobiography
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Penguin Classics (first published 1919)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  424 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
“Of all things, I liked books best.”

Tesla was a bit of an enigma. He clearly operated in a way that most men couldn’t handle. He spent so much of his time alone, detached from society and all others; yet, he created some incredible things that altered civilisation as we know it.

This quote here sums up much of his dealings with people:


The real tragedy of his life and work is that so few people know of his enduring legacy. And he seems so removed from his time. His ideas were brilliant and i
A Note on the Text

--My Inventions

--Tesla Would Pour Lightning from Airships to Consume Foe
--The Action of the Eye
--The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun's Energy
Jeffrey Romine
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
If terms like dynamos and turbines resonate with you, then this is your book. For me, it was the idea of invention itself. We can all appreciate the skill of a mechanic who can get our car fixed, but what about the engineer who invents? This book inspires. Tesla was certainly a gifted man. His driven mindset never doubts his quest to achieve.
Alex Sarll
Nowadays, we're mostly familiar with the Tesla basics - archetypal mad scientist, ripped off by the charlatans Edison and Marconi, and A Bit Odd. But reading his own writings is still a revelation, in that however smart and however odd you think he is, you're barely halfway there. You know in a film or comic, where someone supersmart is shown accomplishing astonishing physical feats through lightning-quick calculation of the physics of a situation? Tesla could do that, and turn in mid-air like a ...more
Jim George
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author compiled a lot of Tesla's essays from The Electrical Experimenter magazine to piece meal together a short autobiography. I found it fascinating that Tesla experienced flashing lights in his brain that caused him to be able to look at things in 3D, he could see them not just imagine them - he could both construct and operate them in his mind. Not just ideas, but words triggered his brain to enable him to see the objects as 3 dimensional pictures. Tesla holds the patent for and is credi ...more
Matt Jarvis
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read. I found it best not to try and understand every detail, and he certainly makes some giant leaps of imagination but you can feel Tesla's passion in the colour of his anecdotes and explanations. His curiousity is infectious! I read this in a single sitting I was so engaged and I will visit it again.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
This book is a good read but marred by the fact that the publishers failed to add any of the diagrams from the original publication. Why my Penguins do you spend so much time and money paying lefty fools to do introductions about the matriarchy, "which doesn't fit with the book", as an introduction to Jane Austens' Pride and Prejudice, when it could have been better spent to add the diagrams to this book and make it legible.
No point adding refrences to diagrams in the text if they do not exist.
R.W. Patterson
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nikola Tesla was a visionary, inventor, writer, and more...I'm fascinated by his mind, and his passion for creating. Really enjoyed reading this book. Definitely inspiring, but I do wish his achievements would've been more recognized.
Rohit Rai
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really inspiring life he had. In some ways, he did have strong gifts from nature. But, there's still enough to inspire; like the desire to be resourceful, the immense concentration, keeness in finding new problems, the desperate devotion to achieve success in solving the problems that come up.

When I ordered it, I had intended to kick myself into a lifestyle of active work, from the grumpy inertia I was in.

Still grumpy I am to some extent.
Paul Korir
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the first book I've read that is incomplete-by-design: it refers to figures that are not present in the text. I wonder what the publisher had in mind.

While I deeply admire Tesla, this book is eminently unreadable. I think it's a collector's item to be used more as a reference work than a book to be read from cover to cover. I say this because it reads like a personal diary; there's no continuity, no story.

Nevertheless, it offers a wonderful insight into Tesla's mind, how he regarded his
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you haven't heard of him before, you will never forget him after reading this collection of his writings, inventions, thoughts and process. A humanitarian, creator and persona of immense presence and prescience this work gives you a view of history and the world seldom seen. Peppered with names and inventions that changed life for mankind in the early 20th Century, Nikola Tesla imagined life in the 21st. Read it.
Abdulrahman Kauther
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book is very difficult to follow, and the "Other Writings" is extremely boring.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, bewildering, and brilliant all at once. Full review here:
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Known as an inventor, Tesla was truly an astonishing thinker, so far ahead of his time as to be almost too advanced in his own mind frame. Great read.
Steven Magee
This is a good collection of Nicola Tesla's original writings. It does not contain any pictures nor photographs. I enjoyed it.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
The current educational system is teaching what to think instead of how to think. We set boundaries upon ourselves without even asking why. Reading this book made me question that.
Reading this nearly 100-year-old book (98 years, actually) changed my view about certain things which the current generation takes for granted.
Autobiography of this scintillating inventor who owns 700 patents is . . . I wouldn't say inspiring. Despite his inventions and their impact on the modern society, his name is
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
"My Inventions" is a semi-autobiographical series of articles that were published in an electronics hobby magazine in 1919, wherein Tesla relates bewildering personal anecdotes about the strange things he experienced as a child he believes were formative for many of his inspirations, alongside more commonplace life events and explanations of how his inventions came to fruition.

The other writings are three short essays: In the first, he precipitates the advent of widespread military AI (killer r
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Im Nachwort zu „Die letzten Tage der Nacht“ von Graham Moore erwähnte der Autor, welche Lektüre er für seine Recherche verwendet hat und welche Titel er interessierten Lesern empfiehlt. Darunter war auch dieses Buch von Tesla, das sozusagen als seine Autobiographie gilt.

Eine Autobiographie von Tesla? Muss ich lesen.

Auf dem Rückentext steht eine Warnung von Kevin Kelly, wer bei gesundem Verstand bleiben wolle, sollte dieses Buch nicht lesen. Zum Glück kann ich nicht weiter geschädigt werden und s
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Exciting and confusing book at the same time.
Insight into a terribly restless mind.
I used term "terribly" because while reading this book I felt sadness. Sadness for this lonely and in many aspects wasted life.
Exciting part - of course description of his many, many brilliant ideas.
Confusing. Firstly, I could not reconcile some of his ideas with my knowledge of physics. Secondly, in few cases his ideas reached beyond science and led to very bizarre conclusions. E.g. he imagined that producing a s
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tesla
Incredible read. Nikola Tesla's life was so vastly interesting. Many of his patents and technologies are in use today and changed how we live. Some include AC Electrically, WIFI, Florescent Bulbs, X-Rays among hundreds of other patents in multiple countries. He read the Bible throughout his life and at one point he spent about 5 months straight reading the Bible and was a Christian man with a deep respect for the Bible and Jesus Christ. I look forward to reading anything I can obtain about Nikol ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
While it can be rather incoherent and difficult to comprehend at times, this book gives the reader excellent insights into the mind of a genius, one of the most innovative, out-of-the-box dreamers of the fin de siècle. Unfortunately, unlike Tesla I do not possess the ability to envision in startling detail the various mechanisms he proposes. This edition could be improved by the addition of illustrations within the text (although to be fair they do provide a link to an online repository of the i ...more
Eric Vollman
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
if you don't know some words he says don't worry you'll be able to still understand what he is saying but just not as clearly. The book is as fascinating as Nikola Tesla is, you learn about his thoughts and his ideas. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who is fascinated in his inventions or a little on his personal life as it is a true insight.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
First half is great (i.e., "My Inventions"). Fascinating read about a man who was probably 100 years ahead of time. Second half feels a bit unstructured but still interesting. The author seems to present different writings in some order. Also, for some reason, I do not have the referenced diagrams on my Kindle. Overall, worth a read, again, especially the first part.
Lisa Rhee
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great compassionate man.

Nikola is an Angel. I didn't expect to laugh as much as I did. He was so innocent. He was so great. A true inventor, creator and a gentleman. My favourite genius.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
"An inventor's endeavor is essentially lifesaving. Whether he harnesses forces, improves devices, or provides new comforts and conveniences, he is adding to the safety of our existence."

Nikola Tesla
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dude was gonna shoot electricity through the air and you'd dial into like a TV station. Wild.
Edward Whittaker
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Facinating a really interesting man before his time,
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
interesting fellow, to say the least.
Fabian Il.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating read. The introduction alone was surprisingly revealing. I enjoyed Tesla's writing style. It revealed a deeply talented, sad yet odd man.
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My review :D 1 1 Jan 21, 2017 03:02PM  
My Review :D 1 1 Jan 20, 2017 10:48AM  
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Nikola Tesla was a genius polymath, inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He is frequently cited as one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, a man who "shed light over the face of Earth," and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla's patents an ...more
“we should effect a radical reform in the character of the food.” 2 likes
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