This book begins with an expose of Grover Cleveland who was known for being an honest politician during his presidency in the 1880s. Although he was generally an honest president as well, there happened to be an incident during which he disappeared aboard a friend's yacht for four days and lied about the reason for his absence. Moving on to the next story, we learn about Edwin Howard Armstrong, also known as The Major, who is just about to jump from the 13th floor of a New York City apartment block at the end of January 1954. He had left a note that calculated the odds of his body being smashed upon impact with the ground below. He took the time to dress in attire which people would recognize him in for identification purposes and then moved over to the window. This part of the book does not tell whether or not Armstrong actually jumped. First, we are told the race to discover, decode and understand the new phenomenon of radio would be run by Armstrong, David Sarnoff and Lee de Forest. Abruptly, the narrative jumps back in time some 48 years as we join a much younger Armstrong being chastised by his mother for not coming inside when she ordered. The young Armstrong is, we discover, sitting in a chair hanging from ropes attached to his newest and best 100 foot antenna enjoying the feel of the wind at such a height. Even at this young age, Armstrong was considered gifted, from the construction of his first crystal set radio receiver came his dream of taking this new technology and using it to bring sounds of voice and music into every home in America.
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