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My Inventions and Other Writings

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  545 ratings  ·  77 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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Sean Barrs
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
“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 brilli
E. G.
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.
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.
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
Ravi Parmar
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing work, short but brilliant.
Should be made standard reading for school children everywhere as a supreme example of what a curious and enquiring mind can achieve.

The fires of dreams have been stoked by this legendary man's efforts, let alone our modern world.
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.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Steven Magee
This is a good collection of Nicola Tesla's original writings. It does not contain any pictures nor photographs. I enjoyed it.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, bewildering, and brilliant all at once. Full review here: ...more
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.
Kauther, A.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book is very difficult to follow, and the "Other Writings" is extremely boring.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
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
H.A.A. Zayour
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-collection
Tesla has always been a hero for me, and he has always been one of the principal reasons why I love electricity. Reading these words composed by this genius was an absolute honor for me, a moving event in my life. Understanding Tesla is much deeper than learning the physics or math behind electricity, it is more about recognizing the beauty of how energy manifests itself in the universe, and how to successfully model and harness it.

My reading of this genius, from this book and other papers, has
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
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
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Reading old books on science is kind of intriguing. You get to know what the greatest minds of the previous centuries conceived to be the underlying laws of nature. Nokola Tesla, in this case, got a lot of things right about the world we live on today. The events he mentioned in this book, some are very inspiring.
Reading this book was a lot like reading "The Scientific Romances" by Charles H. Hinton. Lot of things that have been experimentally proved today were only assumptions and speculations
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
Tina Samuel
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, science
His writings are unique, exploring his mind and his thoughts. The inventions he created only to be taken by others. I am intrigued by him even more after reading this book. I only wish that the figures he refers to, were added as well. To give us a better idea of his inventions in their various stages. He predicted many of the products and services we use today using technology. And he predicted even more past that, the last few pages about wireless energy transmission blew my mind. As an engine ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Did enjoy the autobiographical parts in the beginning, in which Tesla elaborates on his life in general but also on how he thinks (... he thinks in quite an exceptional way). Also was impressed by some of the predictions he made (at the end of 19th century!) about the future: e.g. computers, mobile phones and even some type of AI, he already predicted those based on his scientific understanding of the world.
Later parts are describing his in inventions in quite some details, and are less readable
Abhinav Ramavath
Personally, i enjoyed this book; mainly because it shows the life of one of the greatest minds in history, and how he shaped the 21th century by his inventions. This book is extremely concise and has a mid-high difficulty due to the words that Tesla uses. He clearly develops his main ideas elaborately through concision. I would recommend this book to the people who are generally curious about Nikola Tesla and his mysterious life.
Alexander Velasquez
The only thing I did not enjoy about this edition is that, in the later essays, Tesla refers to his diagrams and figures that are omitted from the Penguin's Classics edition. I'm not sure why Penguin chose to omit such valuable pieces to his essay. As a result, it can be hard to visualize many of the inventions Tesla is referring to. Otherwise, it is an enjoyable read, though a bit of a slog when Tesla really goes into scientific jargon regarding his inventions.
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.
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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

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