Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
By Richard Rhodes
Discussion Date:  Monday, March 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Discussion Leader: Jane Isaacson Shapiro 
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. (randomhouse.com)

Read a Review from the New York Times

Read a review from Salon.com

Read the Reading Guide from Randomhouse.com

Website for the Hedy Lamarr Foundation