On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Taylor Downing, author of Secret Warriors: The Spies, Scientists and Code Breakers of World War I (Pegasus, April 2015). Downing’s book shifts the focus away from the trenches and bloody battlefields to the scientific innovations that made World War I different from any previous war. The war, despite all of its death and destruction, presented an opportunity to improve the technology involved in aviation, medicine, cryptography, and many other fields.

Later in the hour, contributing editor Erin Blakemore tells the story of one of the greatest sprinters of all time, Wilma Rudolph.

Music this hour: