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The Code Book by Simon Singh

The Code Book (edition 2000)

by Simon Singh

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4,664691,540 (4.16)71
In his first book since the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, Simon Singh offers the first sweeping history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, nations, and individual lives. From Mary, Queen of Scots, trapped by her own code, to the Navajo Code Talkers who helped the Allies win World War II, to the incredible (and incredibly simple) logisitical breakthrough that made Internet commerce secure, 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 you wonder how private that e-mail you just sent really is.… (more)
Title:The Code Book
Authors:Simon Singh
Info:Fourth Estate Limited (2000), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 402 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh (Author)


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English (62)  Yiddish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
This book is a well done historical account of some codes and ciphers that were used and the development of methods to expose them. The most gripping parts were probably the sections on the Navajo Code Talkers and the cracking of the Enigma Code. The book also talks about modern encryption, concentrating somewhat on the RSA encryption method. Apparently, this method was found independently, but the British had it under lock and key and failed to make use of it. So that was pretty interesting to me. The middle chapters focus on lost languages, like Egyptian Hieroglyphics and how they translated them using the cartouches.

All in all, this book was pretty awesome, and a good introduction to the world of cryptography. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
I tried to read Alan Turing: The Enigma by Hodges and it seemed to be much more of a biography than explaining the ww2 Enigma. This book was much quicker to read and left out details like the name of the boat Turing's parents took. The middle section (in The Code Book) on hieroglyphics seemed out of place and only included to fill space, it was even prefaced "a slight detour from the book's main theme." I thought the Navajo language used in ww2 was really interesting and the explanation of the RSA encryption, the explanation of Enigma sufficed. The book may be a bit dated-a few events from the late 1990s are are described then "by the time you read this there will have been several more twists and turns in the debate on cryptographic policy." Either way, I thought the author explained all the math/science really well. ( )
  pizzadj2 | May 27, 2019 |
I vowed never to read non-fiction after reading 'The Zahir'. But then I saw this gem and realized there exist non-fiction books which are of my interest and aren't text books. This is a very elegant, inspiring and interesting history of cryptography put up by Simon Singh. This has rekindled my interest in mathematics and cryptography. A must read for everyone interested in code breaking/security. ( )
  artvandley | Sep 30, 2018 |
How codes work from Ancient Egypt through 2000. Anecdotes about codes and code breakers. ( )
  jefware | Mar 10, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this venture into the history of cryptography and cryptanalysis and the race between the code-makers and the code-breakers. There's a lot of history and some neat stories along the way. Although the last chapters about encryption and privacy were a little more complicated, I would recommend Singh's book to anyone interested in the subject. Singh was writing nearly 20 years ago, but the debate between those who are for complete privacy and various agencies like NSA and the FBI are ongoing.
  hailelib | Feb 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Singh, SimonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coqueret, CatherineTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bridge, AndyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brogren, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flothuis, MeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 a few.
John Chadwick
The Decipherment of Linear B
For my mother and father, Sawaran Kaur and Mehnga Singh
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On the morning of Wednesday, 15 October 1586, Queen Mary entered the crowded courtroom at Fotheringhay Castle.
수천 년간 왕과 여왕, 장군들은 나라를 다스리고 군대를 지휘하기 위해 효율적인 통신수단이 필요했다.
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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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A history of
cryptology from Caesar
to the modern day.

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