On a sunny Spring morning in 1895, in the foothills of Bologna, Italy, a shot rang out through the countryside, and modern communication technology was never the same. That shot marked the successful transmission of a wireless message, and one of the early achievements of a young inventor named Guglielmo Marconi. The story of how that young Italian became the "father of radio" and one of the best known inventors of the last century, is told in Giancarlo Masini's meticulously researched biography. Its US publication marks the one-hundredth anniversary of wireless telegraph technology. In precise detail, Masini documents the scientific innovations initiated by Marconi that led to the technology behind radio, radar, and television. In addition to describing the exact nature of Marconi's experiments and achievements, Masini explores the life and multi-faceted personality of the man himself. While a professional success, Marconi's personal life was a turbulent one, marred by affairs with a string of mistresses and two troubled marriages. Finally, Masini addresses Marconi's problematic relationship with Mussolini and Fascism, which he supported for idealistic reasons of his own, before becoming disillusioned by the regime's actual political actions.