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

by

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, 412 pages

Published
August 29th 2000
by Anchor
(first published November 3rd 1999)

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## Reader Q&A

## Community Reviews

Showing 1-30

Jun 06, 2008
Jim
rated it
it was amazing

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

Oct 12, 2016
Paul E. Morph
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
books-read-in-2016

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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, আধু ...more

বইটির সনধান পাই গুডরিডস ঘাঁটাঘাঁটি করতে করতে। Cryptography;অরথাৎ আপনার তথযকে সরবসাধারণের আড়ালে রেখে সংরকষণ ও পরাপককে সরবরাহ করার বিদযা নিয়ে এই বই।হাজার বছর আগের রাজা বাদশাদের আমল থেকে Cryptography-র চরচা শুরু,যার সরোত এখন আপনার সোশাল মিডিয়া অযাকাউনট থেকে সেলফোনের রিচারজ কারডের বযবহারে চলছে সদরপে !চারশো পৃষঠার এই বইটিতে Cryptography-র রোমাঞচকর ইতিহাস , বিকাশের রাজনীতিক পটভূমি ছাড়াও এর গাণি ...more

Singh introduces us to famous historical ciphers a ...more

I had high expectations and it met them nicely. The book tells the story of ciphers and encryption through history – from what the Greek and the Romans did, through the Enigma, and finally to RSA. The style is very easy and pleasant to read, everything is pretty understandable even if you don't ...more

I really enjoyed The Code Book. The explanations were well-done, and the history lessons amazed me, which is odd because I'm not a history fan. I learned a lot about codes and ciphers and how they work, and that was the best part of it all. I liked the writing, so I think I might pick up another Simon Singh book in the future.

Cuốn sách “Mật mã” (The Code Book) sẽ dẫn dắt chúng ta nhìn lại lịch sử dưới góc nhìn của mật mã học. Cuốn sách bắt đầu b ...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

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.

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

This book details the world history o ...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

The book can be looked at in three perspectives. At a micro level, it is a guide to the various techniques of secret writing, and how they can be deciphered. Right from Caesar's cipher to quantum cryptography, the book traces how encryption and decryption has evolved in the last two millennia, which, by itself is fascinating.

Second, it can be looke ...more

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

The best part about this book is its accessibility. You don't need to be a mathematician to follow how codes were developed and broken. I was riveted by the development of cryptogra ...more

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

Singh may be the best science writer out there. He has that rare ability to take complex science and math topics and explain in very straightforward layman’s terms.

topics | posts | views | last activity | |
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Interesting book | 3 | 39 | Jan 25, 2015 06:08AM | |

an eye-opener... | 3 | 65 | Sep 06, 2011 08:25PM |

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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

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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“The first known European book to describe the use of cryptography was written in the thirteenth century by the English Franciscan monk and polymath Roger Bacon. Epistle on the Secret Works of Art and the Nullity of Magic included seven methods for keeping messages secret, and cautioned: “A man is crazy who writes a secret in any other way than one which will conceal it from the vulgar.”
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2 likes

“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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2 likes

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