Marc RaboySep 21, 2016
The Man Who Networked the World
Oxford University Press 2016
Our modern networked world owes an oftentimes unacknowledged debt to Guglielmo Marconi. As Marc Raboy demonstrates in Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World (Oxford University Press, 2016), it was he who pioneered the concept of wireless global communications. As a teenager he was fascinated by the recent discovery of radio waves, and by the time he was in his early twenties he had developed an apparatus that used these waves to transmit and receive messages. Traveling to London, he demonstrated a gift for publicity as he established himself as a technological pioneer in an age of rapidly emerging wonders. Thanks to his unassailable patents, Marconi soon created a global communications empire, one that made his name synonymous with radio and was so dominant that it brought the nations of the world together in an unprecedented international agreement to regulate the field of wireless telegraphy. Raboy recounts Marconi's roving life as a celebrated figure, the development of his multinational business concerns, and his later relationship with the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini and the shadow it cast over his posthumous reputation.