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Only a writer of Richard Rhodes’s caliber could do justice to this remarkable story. Unhappily married to a Nazi arms dealer, Lamarr fled to America at the start of World War II; she brought with her not only her theatrical talent but also a gift for technical innovation. An introduction to Antheil at a Hollywood dinner table culminated in a U.S. patent for a jam- proof radio guidance system for torpedoes - the unlikely duo’s gift to the U.S. war effort.
What other book brings together 1920s Paris, player pianos, Nazi weaponry, and digital wireless into one satisfying whole? In its juxtaposition of Hollywood glamour with the reality of a brutal war, Hedy’s Folly is a riveting book about unlikely amateur inventors collaborating to change the world.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Darryl on 09-20-13
fascinating short bio
I enjoyed this. the narrator was fine, finally. I've had a bad streak of lackluster readers.
But this story is good and there is a good bit of bio on George Antheil as well (helps to understand what he brings to the device) leading up to his and Hedy's meeting and work on the torpedo problem. (you can sample his Ballet Mechanique in itunes to see what he was up to musically, quite different).
but i think the important thing that came across to me was again how short sighted, perhaps in this case misogynistic, men in power were and can be. anyone with the guts and the intelligence to realize what Hedy and Antheil devised could have appreciable shortened WW2. Not to mention kickstarted our electronic age 40 years earlier. It made me think of the Tesla bio Wizard and what a different world we could be living in right now. You don't get a sense of that aspect until the wrap up and that's not what this bio is about except tangentially. But the ideas are presented in a manner that makes them accessible to the layman. the first half is very much the bio aspects of the 2, but the whole thing moves quickly and is short as well so i can recommend it.
and to think that her/their ideas, if they had retained the patent, could have made them billions.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Home Hunter 808 on 12-24-15
Like a 1930s People Magazine
Would you try another book from Richard Rhodes and/or Bernadette Dunne?
What do you think your next listen will be?
The Tao of Willie
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernadette Dunne?
She was okay, it was the material.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
Want gossip about the marriages and divorces of 1930s and 40s screen stars? A DETAILED bio of George Antheil? This may be your book. With ONE exception, Hedy Lamar's inventions remain a secret until they're quickly listed in an Afterword. I had thought the whole point of the book was her "Breakthrough Inventions." Rambling, gossipy string of precise but irrelevant dates and details about OTHERS. I can't believe I sat through the whole thing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful