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Marc Raboy - Marconi : The Man Behind the Birth of Modern Communication read online FB2, PDF, MOBI

9780199313587
English

019931358X
A little over a century ago the world went wireless. Cables and all their limiting inefficiencies gave way to a revolutionary means of transmitting news and information almost everywhere, instantaneously. By means of "Hertzian waves," as radio waves were initially known, ships could now make contact with other ships (saving lives, such as on the doomed R.M.S. Titanic); financial markets could coordinate with other financial markets, establishing the price of commodities and fixing exchange rates; military commanders could connect with the front lines, positioning artillery and directing troop movements. Suddenly and irrevocably, time and space telescoped beyond what had been thought imaginable. Someone had not only imagined this networked world but realized it: Guglielmo Marconi. As Marc Raboy shows us in this enthralling and comprehensive biography, Marconi was the first truly global figure in modern communications. Born to an Italian father and an Irish mother, he was in many ways stateless, working his cosmopolitanism to advantage. Through a combination of skill, tenacity, luck, vision, and timing, Marconi popularized-and, more critically, patented-the use of radio waves. Soon after he burst into public view with a demonstration of his wireless apparatus in London at the age of 22 in 1896, he established his Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company and seemed unstoppable. He was decorated by the Czar of Russia, named an Italian Senator, knighted by King George V of England, and awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics-all before the age of 40. Until his death in 1937, Marconi was at the heart of every major innovation in electronic communication, courted by powerful scientific, political, and financial interests, and trailed by the media, which recorded and published nearly every one of his utterances. He established stations and transmitters in every corner of the globe, from Newfoundland to Buenos Aires, Hawaii to Saint Petersburg. Based on original research and unpublished archival materials in four countries and several languages, Raboy's book is the first to connect significant parts of Marconi's story, from his early days in Italy, to his groundbreaking experiments, to his protean role in world affairs. Raboy also explores Marconi's relationships with his wives, mistresses, and children, and examines in unsparing detail the last ten years of the inventor's life, when he returned to Italy and became a pillar of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Raboy's engrossing biography, which will stand as the authoritative work of its subject, proves that we still live in the world Marconi created., Behind so much of what we take for granted in our wireless world stands Guglielmo Marconi. Thanks to the Marconi system, the cables that had constrained communication, slowing the exchange of news and information up until the 20th century, disappeared. News and information could be transmitted almost everywhere, instantaneously. Ships could communicate with other ships (the Marconi system saved at least some of the passengers on the RMS Titanic), financial markets could coordinate with other financial markets, and military commanders could maintain contact with front-line troops. Through a combination of skill, luck, vision, and timing, Marconi popularized-and, more critically, patented-a radio system that profoundly changed the way the world communicated. As Marc Raboy shows in this engrossing and encyclopedic work, Marconi first envisaged a world of seamless communication and set out to create it. Born to an Italian father and a Scottish mother, Marconi was in many ways stateless. After a demonstration of his wireless apparatus using "Hertzian waves," as radio waves were called, in London at the age of 22 in 1896, he burst into public view and soon established his Wireless Telegraph & Signal Co. Between 1896 and 1937, Marconi was at the heart of every major innovation in electronic communication, including radio transmission, and was courted by powerful scientific, political, and financial interests. He was decorated by the Czar of Russia, named an Italian Senator, knighted by King George V of England, and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize-all before the age of 40. Based on original research and unpublished archival materials in four countries and several languages, Raboy's biography connects significant parts of Marconi's story, from his early days in Italy, to his groundbreaking experiments in transatlantic communication, to his role as a diplomatic go-between. Raboy also explores Marconi's tenuous relationships with his wives, lovers, mistresses and children, and examines in detail the last ten years of the inventor's life, when he returned to Italy and became a leading pillar of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Comprehensive, authoritative, and compelling, Marconi reveals the origins of our networked world and the full story of the man who first realized it., Behind so much of what we take for granted in the world of instantaneous communication towers Guglielmo Marconi. Thanks to his wireless system, which came into full use about a century ago, the cables that had constrained communication, slowing the exchange of news and information, disappeared. News and information could be transmitted almost everywhere, instantaneously. Ships could communicate with other ships (which saved at least some of the passengers on the RMS Titanic), financial markets could coordinate with other financial markets, and military commanders could maintain contact with front-line troops. Through a combination of skill, luck, vision, and timing, Marconi popularized-and, more critically, patented-a radio system that profoundly and irrevocably changed the way the world communicated. As Marc Raboy shows in this engrossing and encyclopedic work, Marconi very early envisaged a world of seamless communication and then set out to create it. Born to an Italian father and an Irish mother, Marconi was in many ways stateless. After a demonstration of his wireless apparatus using "Hertzian waves," as radio waves were called, in London at the age of 22 in 1896, he established his Wireless Telegraph & Signal Co. Between that moment and his death in 1937, Marconi was at the heart of every major innovation in electronic communication, including radio transmission, and was courted by powerful scientific, political, and financial interests. He was decorated by the Czar of Russia, named an Italian Senator, knighted by King George V of England, and awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics--all before the age of 40. Based on original research and unpublished archival materials in four countries, Raboy's biography offers the entirety of Marconi's story, from his early days in Italy, to his groundbreaking experiments in transatlantic communication, to his role as a diplomatic go-between. Raboy also explores Marconi's relationships with his wives, lovers, mistresses and children, and examines in detail the last ten years of the inventor's life, when he returned to Italy and became a leading pillar of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Comprehensive, authoritative, and compelling, Marconi reveals the origins of our networked world and the man who first realized it., 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., Nominated for the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award in Non-fiction.Behind so much of what we take for granted in the world of instantaneous communication towers Guglielmo Marconi. Thanks to his wireless system, which came into full use about a century ago, the cables that had constrained communication, slowing the exchange of news and information, disappeared. Newsand information could be transmitted almost everywhere, instantaneously. Ships could communicate with other ships (which saved at least some of the passengers on the RMS Titanic), financial markets could coordinate with other financial markets, and military commanders could maintain contact withfront-line troops. Through a combination of skill, luck, vision, and timing, Marconi popularized-and, more critically, patented-a radio system that profoundly and irrevocably changed the way the world communicated. As Marc Raboy shows in this engrossing and encyclopedic work, Marconi very early envisaged a world of seamless communication and then set out to create it. Born to an Italian father and an Irish mother, Marconi was in many ways stateless. After a demonstration of his wireless apparatus using"Hertzian waves," as radio waves were called, in London at the age of 22 in 1896, he established his Wireless Telegraph and Signal Co. Between that moment and his death in 1937, Marconi was at the heart of every major innovation in electronic communication, including radio transmission, and wascourted by powerful scientific, political, and financial interests. He was decorated by the Czar of Russia, named an Italian Senator, knighted by King George V of England, and awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics--all before the age of 40. Based on original research and unpublished archival materials in four countries, Raboy's biography offers the entirety of Marconi's story, from his early days in Italy, to his groundbreaking experiments in transatlantic communication, to his role as a diplomatic go-between. Raboy also exploresMarconi's relationships with his wives, lovers, mistresses and children, and examines in detail the last ten years of the inventor's life, when he returned to Italy and became a leading pillar of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Comprehensive, authoritative, and compelling, Marconi reveals theorigins of our networked world and the man who first realized it.

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