“Hedy’s Folly,” by Richard Rhodes

Long before Hedy Lamarr became almost as famous for her inventions as for her movie career, I used to look at her movies and think that if ever I had to cast a woman who was beautiful, cunning, inventive, and super intelligent it would be her. I don’t know if it were her facial expressions or her amazing eyes, but behind that lovely face there seemed to be a thousand different ideas running through, what we now know, was that ingenious brain of Ms. Lamarr.

Richard Rhodes, author of the Pulitzer winning “The Making of The Atomic Bomb (a book I was never able to finish because, in short, it was above my grade level)” has in “Hedy’s Folly,” to his credit, chosen to concentrate more on the inventive, industrious, and determined Hedy Lamarr than on the glamorous starlit.

To his discredit, the book (especially at the beginning and toward the end) is confusing and difficult to understand, and if one is not familiar with many of the scientific terms he uses I imagine could be exceptionally bewildering. Luckily, since my failed attempt at his Pulitzer winning book, I have become much more knowledgeable about science thanks mainly to the works of Walter Isaacson, and was able to easily grasp the genesis behind ‘spread-spectrum’ that Ms. Lamarr and her colleague Mr Antheil so belatedly, in their lives, were given credit for… After their patent had expired and they were denied the billions, if not trillions, they were entitled to.

It might not have been the easiest read, but the information I gathered about this amazing lady was worth the trouble.11564538

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