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Alan had proved that there was no "miraculous machine" that could solve all mathematical problems, but in the process he had discovered something almost equally miraculous, the idea of a universal machine that could take over the work of any machine.
During World War II, Turing was the intellectual star of Bletchley Park, the secret British cryptography unit. His work cracking the German's Enigma machine code was, in many ways, the first triumph of computer science. And Turing died because his identity as a homosexual was incompatible with cold-war ideas of security, implemented with machines and remorseless logic: "It was his own invention, and it killed the goose that laid the golden eggs."
Andrew Hodges's remarkable insight weaves Turing's mathematical and computer work with his personal life to produce one of the best biographies of our time, and the basis of the Derek Jacobi movie Breaking the Code. Hodges has the mathematical knowledge to explain the intellectual significance of Turing's work, while never losing sight of the human and social picture:
In this sense his life belied his work, for it could not be contained by the discrete state machine. At every stage his life raised questions about the connection (or lack of it) between the mind and the body, thought and action, intelligence and operations, science and society, the individual and history.
And Hodges admits what all biographers know, but few admit, about their subjects: "his inner code remains unbroken." Alan Turing is still an enigma. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An outstanding tour de force, clearly a work of love by a person who could see and understand Turing's world from the inside. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr. Niall McLaren
Hodges has provided a view into the mind and person of Alan Turing that only a mathematically scientific individual could produce. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gary A. Bowker
How can you like a book that is impossible to read because of the tiny font?Published 1 month ago by S. Walker
This biography gets the reader to both understand and empathize with Alan Turing. The amount of detail is enormous. I found the first half of the book better written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel Putman
Found the book easy to read, and actually it was difficult to make myself put it down to go to work.Published 2 months ago by secondstar
Alan Turing was so important a player in WW 2. A genius. The novel is fantastic. I'm almost 2/3 done reading it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Barbara A Dignan
An enthralling description of the development of a mathematical innovator and his involvement in the crucial code breaking operations at Bletchley Park during WWII. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Equilibrium Constant
Compelling and scholarly. Shows how Turing's achievements have been swept under the rug due to his homosexuality. Read morePublished 3 months ago by craig perritt
This is THE biography for Turing. Hodges really dives into his life and it's basically like being back in time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christy