The manifold contributions of Karl Steinmetz to the advancement of electrical invention are described in Floyd Miller's account, but they run a second course to the more human aspects of Steinmetz' story. A mental giant, physically dwarfed, Steinmetz found a welcome place among the university students of Bismarck's Germany. In bohemian circles, he developed a knack for practical jokes and bravado -- qualities which led to his becoming a political refugee. His love for science and mathematics was gratified in his work for the newly organized company of General Electric. With his assistant whose family he adopted, he spent many hours in the lab. His time away from things scientific was devoted entirely to the children he could never have. His interest in their world resulted in his fight for better schools, as well as the loyal affection of a long entourage. A warm and readable biography -- not designated for the science-minded alone.