Raghu's Reviews > The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book by Simon Singh
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's review
Jul 16, 2007

it was amazing
Read in April, 2002

Ever since I read Simon Singh's 'Fermat's Enigma', I had put him down as one of my favorite authors of popular science writing. This book does full justice to that faith. It is a very readable and enjoyable book on the difficult subject of cryptography.
Singh starts out with the details of how Mary Queen of Scot's got beheaded due to her coded messages being de-crypted by Queen Elizabeth's code breakers. Then there is the lovely presentation of the details of the German Enigma machine being decyphered by the Allies during the second world war. It was also very interesting for me to read about the great contribution made by the Navajo Indians, who used a coded version of their native language in sending messages which helped in defeating the Japanese in WWII. Gradually, he takes us through to the current scenario of computer cryptography, the principles behind it and finally on to the future of quantum cryptography. All this is done without resorting to complex technological jargon or mathematics.
One of the other positive aspects of this book is the presentation of each advance in cryptography to the historical events that provided the need for it shaped its development.
I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it strongly.
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