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Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy

Guglielmo Marconi is one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of technology. Inventor, entrepreneur, statesman and diplomat, Marconi shaped the age of electronic media more than any other. Before the dawn of the 20th century, he envisaged a world of seamless, wireless communication, and set out to create it using all the tools at his disposal—guile, charm, and visionary genius. Between 1896 and 1937, Marconi was at the heart of every major innovation in electronic communication. Bursting into public view literally overnight after the first demonstration of his wireless apparatus in London in 1896, Marconi was taken under the wing of powerful scientific, political and financial interests and soon developed a new corporate model for exploiting and protecting his inventions—a model combining patent protection, government lobbying and media relations. He established his company and worldwide headquarters in England and was decorated by the Czar of Russia, named an Italian Senator, knighted by King George V, and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—all before the age of 40.

Marc Raboy's biography traces the origins and emergence of our present networked system of global communication through the life and career of Marconi. Based on original research and unpublished documents, Marconi connects significant parts of Marconi's story that have never before been looked at in a single work: his early days in Italy, the launch of his corporate empire in pre-WWI England, his groundbreaking experiments in transatlantic communication, his role in the creation and flourishing of the 20th century US media giants General Electric, RCA and NBC, the part he played in the negotiations that shaped the modern global media system, and his role as a diplomatic go-between in the intense period leading up to the Second World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199313587
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/27/2016
Pages: 872
Sales rank: 652,447
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

Marc Raboy is Professor and Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. He is the author or editor of over twenty books, and he has been a visiting scholar at Stockholm University, the University of Oxford, and New York University. He lives in Montreal.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Marconi in 2012
Chapter Two: Family history
Chapter Three: Technology in the 1870s
Chapter 4: February 1896
Chapter Five: 1897-98
Chapter Six: New York, 1899
Chapter Seven: Marconi builds a new experimental station at Poldhu, Cornwall, with the goal of communicating across the Atlantic
Chapter Eight: Marconi as a global media celebrity
Chapter Nine: Marconi and the company, 1901-04
Chapter Ten: Marconi at the centre of global politics
Chapter Eleven: Marconi's relations with Italy
Chapter Twelve: Patent litigation became standard
Chapter Thirteen: Marriage and family life
Chapter Fourteen: 1911, Italy and Turkey go to war
Chapter Fifteen: A corruption scandal
Chapter Sixteen: War
Chapter Seventeen: The Great War's effect on Marconi
Chapter Eighteen: The 1920s
Chapter Nineteen: Marconi's divorce
Chapter Twenty: Marconi settles in Rome
Chapter Twenty-One: Marconi's Death
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Marconi legacy today

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