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Hedy's Folly review - Richard Rhodes

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SECRET SMARTS Rhodes tells the unlikely true story of a sex symbol who revolutionized modern communication

Hedy's Folly

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Richard Rhodes
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, takes on a decidedly kinder example of technological innovation in Hedy’s Folly. Actress and sex symbol Hedy Lamarr once famously noted that to look glamorous, ”all you have to do is stand still and look stupid,” and it was indeed her work away from the gauzy spotlight of Hollywood that best demonstrated her fierce intelligence. Along with composer George Antheil, Lamarr turned her hobby of invention into the 1942 patent for spread-spectrum radio, an indispensable development in the field of communications. While Rhodes takes his time to reach the meat of his story, he manages to capture the sheer improbability of these unlikely Edisons. B+

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