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The Code Book by Simon Singh

The Code Book (edition 2000)

by Simon Singh

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4,179631,198 (4.16)62
Title:The Code Book
Authors:Simon Singh
Info:Harpercollins Pb (2000), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Code Book by Simon Singh (Author)


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English (57)  Yiddish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This book was a well written and comprehensive review of the history of codes. Those with a bent for maths will definitely enjoy it, but even those who would rather avoid anything to do with numbers would enjoy the stories behind the discoveries. I never knew why prime numbers were so important until now. A great read. ( )
  JacobMayer75 | Jul 16, 2015 |
One of the most intriguing and interesting books I've read in a very long time. This was actually a required textbooks for a friend's college course, and I borrowed it after he was done with the class. I literally read it in five days. Me, having studied linguistics, absolutely loved everything this had to offer. From the story of Mary Queen of Scots to cracking the German Enigma cipher to encryption in the digital age, there was simply so much to learn that I couldn't put it down.

This book was written in 1999, back when the digital age was picking up enormous speed. I can only imagine what changes in codes and encryption have happened since then, and hope that Singh would come out with an updated version of this book sometime in the future.

Must read for puzzle and language and math lovers. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I remember being very much at awe, reading about Fermat's Last Theorem (same author), but this book really didn't tell me anything new, except for some historical gossip on important figures in the history of cryptography. Probably, having a degree in mathematics and computer science doesn't help in appreciating this book... :-) ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (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
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
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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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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A history of
cryptology from Caesar
to the modern day.

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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"--Publisher's description.… (more)

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