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On a sunny Spring morning in 1895, in the foothills of Bologna, Italy, a shot rang out through the countryside, and modern communication technology was never the same. That shot marked the successful transmission of a wireless message, and one of the early achievements of a young inventor named Guglielmo Marconi. The story of how that young Italian became the "father of radio" and one of the best known inventors of the last century, is told in Giancarlo Masini's meticulously researched biography. Its US publication marks the one-hundredth anniversary of wireless telegraph technology. In precise detail, Masini documents the scientific innovations initiated by Marconi that led to the technology behind radio, radar, and television. In addition to describing the exact nature of Marconi's experiments and achievements, Masini explores the life and multi-faceted personality of the man himself. While a professional success, Marconi's personal life was a turbulent one, marred by affairs with a string of mistresses and two troubled marriages. Finally, Masini addresses Marconi's problematic relationship with Mussolini and Fascism, which he supported for idealistic reasons of his own, before becoming disillusioned by the regime's actual political actions.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A precocious farm boy with a passion for electronics, 21-year-old Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) carried out the first wireless telegraph transmission in 1895, assuring the birth of radio. The Italian inventor and entrepreneur founded the world's first wireless telegraphy company in London two years later, with a network of stations extending from China to Morocco. First published in Italy in 1976, this admiring biography ably traces Marconi's experiments, his triumphant public demonstrations of radio and the science underlying his inventions. Italian science journalist Masini, who lives in California, is less successful in probing the contradictions of the possessive, absent husband who had numerous affairs, the Italian senator who avowedly hated politics, the tender father who financially cut off the three children of his first marriage, the ardent nationalist who became Mussolini's staunch supporter and an active propagandist for the fascist cause. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Marconi (1874-1937) was a man of strong character whose life was a puzzling set of contrasts. He built devices that helped create the 20th century's telecommunications industry while regarding his inventiveness not as a research or academic pursuit but as a means to commercial success and personal profit. Masini, a physical chemist and historian of science, provides an easily read and informative examination of the inventor's scientific career as well as his business, political, and personal life. He deftly supplies insight and background to the life of this amazingly complex man. Highly recommended for all collections, especially those focusing on the history of science.-Michael David Cramer, Virginia Polytechnic & State Univ. Libs., Blacksburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568860282
  • Publisher: Marsilio
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 1.04 (d)

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