Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

My friend Tom, K8BKM told me about this book because he knows I love history books that include the human and dramatic side of the story.

I didn’t know that this form of non fiction existed. My wife suggested I buy The Sun Kings after attending a fantastic deep space show at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT this past September when we were on vacation. The combination of radio, Telegraphy and solar propagation and drama / suspense takes what could be a very boring history book and brings it to life. In fact, now I wonder why history books tend to be so boring.  Any history worth reading always has a fascinating back story which details the events on a more personal level, and for me, that makes the story all that more compelling. The best history books also give a glimpse of what it would have been like living during that time, and how that time affected the course of history leading up to our time on this planet.

Thunderstruck combines a murder mystery with Marconi’s pursuit of his radio invention (or I might say patent and selling of the radio for practical purposes). It’s a great read. The Sun Kings had suspense in two areas – competition between scientists on key solar physics discoveries and The Carrington Event.

Since I don’t have anything on the radio that I need, I spend my hobby time tuning around, building and testing antennas and reading books such as those listed above.

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