Tantorious is a semi-monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.
Marc J. Seifer is a professor of psychology and the author of more than 70 scientific writings published in numerous magazines. His book, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Biography of a Genius, is the definitive work on the founding father of modern electrical technology.
Excerpts from the audio interview:
Q: What were some of Tesla’s biggest achievements?
A: He figured out how to harness alternating current and wanted to sell his idea to Thomas Edison, but Edison was working with direct current. So Tesla made direct current more efficient for Edison, but never got paid. Tesla also gave us fluorescent and neon lights, remote control, wireless communication, and more.
Q: Why has Tesla become such a cult figure to a new generation of innovators?
A: In the year 2000, Life magazine listed the top 100 people of the last 1,000 years, and Tesla was number 56. Elon Musk (the head of Tesla Motors), Google’s Larry Page, and many other Silicon Valley figures have been inspired by Tesla. But he had been hidden from history. The Internet has helped, spreading dramatic photographs of him surrounded by electricity.
Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of Wizard: The Life of Tesla, narrated by Marc J. Seifer.
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