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Tesla–Wizard at War

By Robert McCool

What hasn't been written about Nikola Tesla in the past century? Books and documentaries abound around the genius of the inventor, and even Marc J. Seifer, the writer of this non-fiction tome had published a previous book in 1999, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla. But this book, Wizard at War (Kensington Publishing Corp. ISBN  978-8065-4096-2) to be released at the end of August 2022, takes on a narrower subject, as it chronicles the inventions that interested the military of more than one country.

First, he invented a way to spread electricity without wires, and then, using the same principle of transmission, he developed a better way to communicate across distances with his electric wireless radio and phone ( the precursor of the satellite cell phone). He explored radio remote control of the instruments of war. He proposed an electric weapon that became named “the Death Ray.”

This electric weapon especially interested various countries coming soon after World War II. Russia in particular wanted the device for itself. Had he lived long enough to develop this “Death Ray,” he foresaw the world as a much better place. He believed that if all countries could kill each other at a distance they would end war completely due to the “mutual destruction” concept. All of his inventions and patents were visible to the military, who funded some of his experiments in an effort to gain mastery over their opponents on the world stage.

With a five-page bibliography and forty pages of footnotes, it is clear that Marc J. Seifer's genius is his fastidious, exhaustive research and familiarity with the legend that is the “Wizard.” Seifer is a very, very excellent author, who writes as if he were personal friends with Tesla and lived during Tesla's inventive years.

As I read Tesla-Wizard at War, I marveled at how precise Seifer is in his writing, as he has been in a film and a comprehensive documentary showcasing his knowledge on this subject, sharing his passion with us in different media. This is the book that I will remember when I think of the Wizard in the future.

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Friday, September 23, 2022