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# The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

by
Simon Singh

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 inc ...morePaperback, 366 pages

Published
August 29th 2000
by Anchor
(first published 1999)

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## Community Reviews

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1-30
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3,000)

Sep 18, 2008
Jim
rated it
5 of 5 stars

Recommends it for:
Geeks and people who like geeks.

Shelves:
pop-sci-geek

The Code Book is like geek porn. Explanations of the theories behind cryptography are woven together with anecdotes of times when code-making or code-breaking was integral to historical events. Singh strikes an excellent balance with this book. The clarity of his writing makes the explanations of the mathematics of cryptography very straightforward without dumbing them down, and the historical connections are always fascinating.

Personally, my favorite part was the section devoted to the role cry ...more

Personally, my favorite part was the section devoted to the role cry ...more

পৃথিবীতে বড় বড় সব যুদধগুলো হয়েছে আসলে 'কোডবরেকার' আর 'কোডমেকার' দের মধযে, যারাই পরতিপকষের পাঠানো গোপন চিঠিগুলো পড়ে ফেলতে পেরেছে তারাই কৌশলগত দিক থেকে একধাপ এগিয়ে গিয়েছে। সেই জুলিয়াস সিজারের সিজার সাইফার থেকে শুরু করে নাৎসিদের বযবহৃত এনিগমা মেশিন, আধুন ...more

Maybe this is what growing up is about!

That being said, this is a very informative book about the past, present and future of cryptography. Singh takes us on a journey from ancient times where simpl ...more

*The Code Book*, an excellent ...more

Enjoyably crafted and with the lay reader in mind, I think many could enjoy this ...more

If you at all feel uncomfortable in your knowledge of one time pad cyphers, public/private keys, or the importance of really good cryptography for average folks, please read this book! It's sadly a bit out of date, but Singh does such a brilliant job of methodically building up the complexity in cyphers though history, that you will inevitably learn a ton.

My favorite part in the book was the explanation of Quantum Cryptograph ...more

I learned that once in ancient Greece somebody shaved the head of his messenger, wrote the message on his scalp, and then waited for the hair to regrow as a for ...more

Singh delves into the story of Mary Queen of Scots and explains in an epic and intersting way about how Mary's life depended upon whether her encrypted messages were deciphered. It goes on to the key role of mathematicians in WWII par ...more

Singh takes care to also give more technical explanations for what's going on, and you can use the charts to try out some of them for yourself.

Just recently, there's the story of the "runic code" that was finally solved - and it turns out it was used mostly for fun (with one of the translated messages saying, simply, "Kiss me"). S ...more

Aug 30, 2014
Paulo Glez Ogando
rated it
5 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
matemáticas

This is a very good book, one I've enjoyed very much. I knew Simon Singh from Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, both of them books I liked. Thus with these precedents, it seemed a sure choice. It was.

It is a little of the history of cryptography, as well as some anecdotes around it. Middle age in Britain and Scotland, World War (I and II), security in the Internet or quantum computers are some of th ...more

It is a little of the history of cryptography, as well as some anecdotes around it. Middle age in Britain and Scotland, World War (I and II), security in the Internet or quantum computers are some of th ...more

Most interesting was tying the development of codes to actual historical impacts of codes, ciphers, codebreaking, and cryptology. Perhaps one of the best explanations of Diffie-Hellman and RSA techniques - very understandable!

His discussion of the future of cryptography (this bo ...more

topics | posts | views | last activity | |
---|---|---|---|---|

Interesting book | 3 | 33 | Jan 25, 2015 06:08AM | |

an eye-opener... | 3 | 63 | Sep 06, 2011 08:25PM |

Simon Lehna Singh, MBE (born 1 January 1964) is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner. He is the maiden winner of the Lilavati Award.

His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptogra ...more

More about Simon Singh...
His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptogra ...more

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“if N is large enough, it is virtually impossible to deduce p and q from N, and this is perhaps the most beautiful and elegant aspect of the RSA asymmetric cipher.”
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“Even the Vatican, probably the second most active center of cryptanalysis, would send Soro seemingly impenetrable messages that had fallen into its hands. In 1526, Pope Clement VII sent him two encrypted messages, and both were returned having been successfully cryptanalyzed.”
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