Tesla vs Edison – Round Two (The Big Announcement)

Tesla vs Edison cartoonThose following this page know that I wrote a biography of famed Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla in 2013. Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity has gone on to become a great success. In fact, the third printing is due in Barnes and Noble stores this month (February 2015), which will help reach even more tens of thousands of people.

Every Tesla fan knows that he and Thomas Edison had a love/hate relationship. Initially colleagues and friends, they became rivals as Tesla hooked up with George Westinghouse to advance alternating current (AC) while Edison was deeply invested in direct current (DC). The chapter “A Man Always at War” in my Tesla book is filled with stories about the war of the currents.

Now it’s time for the another perspective.

I am happy to announce that Fall River Press, the imprint of Sterling Publishing that published Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity, has asked me to write a similarly styled book on none other than Thomas Edison!

Yes, that Thomas Edison.

Current wars

Edison, of course, was well established as an inventor before Tesla arrived in New York. The new book will examine Edison’s life, his successful inventions, his failures, and his perspective on the war of the currents. The book will also delve into Edison’s invention factories in Menlo Park and West Orange, New Jersey, as well as his friendships – and rivalries – with some of the great personages of the time. The intent is to show Edison’s trials and tribulations as well as his triumphs.

Previous biographies of Edison have given Nikola Tesla very little mention. My book on Edison will bring Tesla into the picture where appropriate.

I’ll be working on the book this year and Fall River Press is planning to release it some time in 2016. I’ll update as soon as I have a more concrete schedule.

As I work on the book I can’t help but envision actor Tom Cappadona as Thomas Edison. Cappadona played Edison in the 2013 off-Broadway play TESLA, the cast of which I had the privilege of visiting about a month before the play’s opening. As a guest of the director I got to see TESLA on opening night, where an overflow house gave a sustained and enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of the show. Tom Cappadona was superlative in the role of Thomas Edison, so it’s his face that inspires my writing of the great inventor. [He’s also my first choice to cover the title role in the highly unlikely event that the book becomes a Steven Spielberg film (hey, I can dream, right?).]

I’ll have more information as the book develops, but expect the same style as my Tesla book – snappy writing, great photos, and an interesting look at a complicated man.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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