2022 ONTD Reading Challenge discussion

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
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2018 ♦️ARCHIVES♦️ June > Discussion Post: Hedy's Folly (Richard Rhodes)

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Jamie Zaccaria | 105 comments Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes delivers a remarkable story of science history: how a ravishing film star and an avant-garde composer invented spread-spectrum radio, the technology that made wireless phones, GPS systems, and many other devices possible.

Beginning at a Hollywood dinner table, Hedy's Folly tells a wild story of innovation that culminates in U.S. patent number 2,292,387 for a "secret communication system." Along the way Rhodes weaves together Hollywood’s golden era, the history of Vienna, 1920s Paris, weapons design, music, a tutorial on patent law and a brief treatise on transmission technology. Narrated with the rigor and charisma we've come to expect of Rhodes, it is a remarkable narrative adventure about spread-spectrum radio's genesis and unlikely amateur inventors collaborating to change the world.



Jamie Zaccaria | 105 comments This was a good look at the life and inventions of Hedy Lamarr but I think the title was misleading. This is because the book is equal parts about Lamarr and equal parts about her co-inventor George Antheil. At first I was a bit annoyed but then once I got into Antheil's story I didn't mind because it is interesting. I think the title should focus on both of them because the book does.

It's a shame she doesn't get nearly enough credit she deserves for her brilliance.


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