A reading club with a view to the future

495 Alec Nevala-Lee: Inventor of the Future

A comprehensive biography exploring the life, work, and enduring legacy of Nikola Tesla, one of history’s most visionary inventors.



"Inventor of the Future" provides a detailed account of the extraordinary life of Nikola Tesla, shedding light on his groundbreaking inventions, struggles, and his enduring impact on the modern world. Alec Nevala-Lee delves into Tesla's brilliant mind, his revolutionary ideas, and the challenges he faced in bringing his visionary concepts to fruition.


  1. Title: "Inventor of the Future: The Life of Nikola Tesla" 
  2. Author: Alec Nevala-Lee 
  3. Publishing Year: 2022 
  4. Publisher: Dey Street Books 
  5. Length in Hours: 18 hours and 4 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Nikola Tesla's remarkable contributions to electrical engineering, including the development of alternating current (AC) power systems that revolutionized electricity distribution.
  2. Tesla's pioneering work in wireless communication and transmission, foreshadowing concepts that would later become central to technologies like radio and wireless energy transfer.
  3. The personal and professional challenges Tesla encountered throughout his life, including financial difficulties, rivalries with other inventors, and the struggles to gain recognition for his inventions.
  4. The profound impact of Tesla's inventions on modern technology, including their influence on power systems, communications, and the development of numerous electrical devices.
  5. The enduring legacy of Nikola Tesla and his ongoing inspiration for inventors, scientists, and futurists, as well as his cultural impact as an iconic figure of scientific innovation.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Tesla was the original 'mad scientist'—a visionary genius with an unruly mop of hair and a mind full of lightning bolts."
  2. "While others saw ordinary objects, Tesla saw potential inventions everywhere—from the crackle of lightning to the vibrations of a singing wine glass."
  3. "Tesla's laboratory was like a playground for the imagination, filled with high-voltage sparks, mysterious glowing tubes, and the hum of scientific wonders."
  4. "Tesla's obsession with pigeons and his peculiar sleeping habits only added to his enigmatic persona—truly a character ahead of his time."
  5. "If Tesla were alive today, he would probably be the first to embrace the wonders of wireless charging and give his electric car a futuristic upgrade."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Tesla's vision of wireless power transmission was far ahead of his time, yet his ideas continue to captivate and inspire the imaginations of scientists and inventors today."
  2. "Tesla's genius lay not only in his inventions but in his ability to envision a future filled with technological possibilities that seemed like magic to his contemporaries."
  3. "Tesla's battle against Edison's direct current (DC) power systems symbolizes the clash between innovation and convention, with lasting implications for the world's energy infrastructure."
  4. "Tesla's eccentricities and unorthodox experiments often overshadowed his immense contributions to science and technology, but his impact cannot be overstated."
  5. "Tesla's inventions, from the Tesla coil to the induction motor, laid the foundation for the electrified world we live in today, shaping our modern society."

5 dilemmas

  1. The struggle to balance Tesla's visionary ideas with the practical challenges of implementing and commercializing his inventions.
  2. Tesla's battle to secure funding and support for his ambitious projects, often facing skepticism from investors and established industry players.
  3. The ethical and societal implications of Tesla's inventions, such as the potential misuse of wireless power transmission or concerns over electromagnetic radiation.
  4. Tesla's challenge in maintaining intellectual property rights and navigating patent disputes, which impacted his financial stability and recognition.
  5. The enduring debate over Tesla's legacy and the recognition he deserves for his contributions, highlighting the complexities of attributing credit in the realm of scientific innovation.

5 examples

  1. Nikola Tesla's partnership with George Westinghouse, leading to the widespread adoption of alternating current power systems.
  2. Tesla's rivalry with Thomas Edison, famously known as the "War of the Currents," which shaped the future of electricity distribution.
  3. The establishment of the Tesla Electric Light Company, Tesla's first venture to develop and promote his inventions.
  4. Tesla's collaborations with financier J.P. Morgan, who provided financial support for some of Tesla's ambitious projects.
  5. Tesla's encounters with famous individuals of his time, including Mark Twain, who was fascinated by Tesla's inventions and even served as a test subject.

Referenced books

  1. "Tesla: Man Out of Time" by Margaret Cheney
  2. "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla" by Marc J. Seifer
  3. "Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age" by W. Bernard Carlson
  4. "Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World" by Jill Jonnes
  5. "Tesla: A Portrait with Masks" by Vladimir Pistalo

Share a quote

"Tesla's laboratory was like a playground for the imagination, filled with high-voltage sparks, mysterious glowing tubes, and the hum of scientific wonders."

Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.