Tesla – Inventor of the Modern

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Politics and Prose Bookstore welcomes Richard Munson to discuss and sign copies of “Tesla: Inventor of the Modern” (W.W. Norton).Drawing on his new book, Richard Munson shines a light on the man behind the legend and how his unique way of doing things meant some of his most advanced ideas would go unrecognized for decades. Tesla felt inventing required the linking of science and the humanities. Unlike his better- known rival, Thomas Edison, he was not motivated by profit and preferred working in isolation.

While many contemporaries–including Edison and J.P. Morgan–believed electricity would remain a luxury item, Tesla wanted to bring it to the masses, which meant perfecting a way to distribute it. His big breakthrough was in alternating current, the basis of the electric grid and long-distance electrical transmission. This pitted him against Edison’s direct-current empire and bitter patent battles ensued. His vision was successfully realized on a grand scale when his alternating-current technology was used to transmit electric power first to Buffalo and then to New York City. But so many of his ideas remained in the dark for years. Tesla died nearly penniless, but he left the world a far richer place.

Munson is director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s clean energy efforts for the Midwest and an activist for clean energy and industrial-energy efficiency,

This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

For details, call 202-364-1919


Politics and Prose Bookstore
5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20008

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