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The Code Book by Simon Singh
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The Code Book

by Simon Singh (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,862611,338 (4.16)56
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English (55)  Yiddish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Nice, lightweight popular history of cryptography. I last had a serious go at reading up this subject in the seventies, when the first information about the wartime work on Enigma was beginning to be released. A lot more detail about this has come to light since, so it was time for an update. I found Singh's account entertaining and useful, as far as it went, but it's written for newcomers to the subject, so you have to wade through a lot of background before you get to the real technical detail. (Did we really need a biography of Mary, Queen of Scots and a description of the physical appearance of every scientist mentioned in the book?)
Not the best choice for what I wanted, but it would certainly make a very good birthday present for a mathematically-inclined teenager, if you happen to know any of those... ( )
  thorold | Jan 18, 2015 |
I didn't finish this, but I don't think it is the book's fault at all. I have the attention span of an absent-minded butterfly these days... I will almost certainly pick it up again at one point.
  KVHardy | Jan 2, 2015 |
My take-aways from this book:

* simple language
* effectively explains even the most complex of technologies
* enjoyable read and never bored ( )
  nmarun | Mar 11, 2014 |
The urge to discover secrets is deeply ingrained in human nature; even the least curious mind is roused by the promise of sharing knowledge withheld from others. Some are fortunate enough to find a job which consists in the solution of mysteries, but most of us are driven to sublimate this urge by the solving of artificial puzzles devised for our entertainment. Detective stories or crossword puzzles cater for the majority; the solution of secret codes may be the pursuit of the few. John Chadwick. The Decipherment of Linear B.

109 182 6 11 88 214 74 77 153 177 109 195 76 37 188 ( )
  mdubois | Mar 3, 2014 |
The book was written in 1999, so the 'recent developments' as presented in this work are a bit outdated. Nevertheless, the history of cryptography and cryptanalysis remains a fascinating one. It would be interesting to know how quantum cryptography has developed in the new millennium. ( )
  Akubra | Dec 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Singh, SimonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coqueret, CatherineTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brogren, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flothuis, MeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother and father, Sawaran Kaur and Mehnga Singh
First words
On the morning of Wednesday, 15 October 1586, Queen Mary entered the crowded courtroom at Fotheringhay Castle.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Code Book: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It is not the same as the original Simon Singh book. It was significantly revised for younger readers.
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Information from the Japanese Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Haiku summary
A history of
Cryptology from Caesar
To the modern day.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385495323, Paperback)

People love secrets. Ever since the first word was written, humans have sent coded messages to each other. In The Code Book, Simon Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption. Singh's compelling history is woven through with stories of how codes and ciphers have played a vital role in warfare, politics, and royal intrigue. The major theme of The Code Book is what Singh calls "the ongoing evolutionary battle between codemakers and codebreakers," never more clear than in the chapters devoted to World War II. Cryptography came of age during that conflict, as secret communications became critical to both sides' success.

Confronted with the prospect of defeat, the Allied cryptanalysts had worked night and day to penetrate German ciphers. It would appear that fear was the main driving force, and that adversity is one of the foundations of successful codebreaking.

In the information age, the fear that drives cryptographic improvements is both capitalistic and libertarian--corporations need encryption to ensure that their secrets don't fall into the hands of competitors and regulators, and ordinary people need encryption to keep their everyday communications private in a free society. Similarly, the battles for greater decryption power come from said competitors and governments wary of insurrection.

The Code Book is an excellent primer for those wishing to understand how the human need for privacy has manifested itself through cryptography. Singh's accessible style and clear explanations of complex algorithms cut through the arcane mathematical details without oversimplifying. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"The Code Book" tells the story of the most powerful intellectual weapon ever known: secrecy. Throughout the text are clear technical and mathematical explanations, and portraits of the remarkable personalities who wrote and broke the world's most difficult codes. Accessible, compelling, and remarkably far-reaching, this book will forever alter your view of history and what drives it. It will also make yo wonder how private that e-mail you just sent really is.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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