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How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy and Other Stories of Intelligence and Code Hardcover – January 17, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

When it comes to documenting the history of cryptography, David Kahn is singularly one of the finest, if not the finest writers in that domain. For anyone with an interest in the topic, Kahn's works are read in detail and anticipated. ... For those that have read some of Kahn's other works and are looking for more, How I Discovered World War IIs Greatest Spy and Other Stories of Intelligence and Code will be an enjoyable read.
Ben Rothke, Information Security Manager, Wyndham Worldwide Corp., writing on Slashdot.org

How I Discovered World War II’s Greatest Spy and Other Stories of Intelligence and Code is the latest book by the distinguished intelligence historian David Kahn. This volume is a collection of thirty articles by Kahn, all of which have been previously published in a variety of publications, but have been brought together here as they are viewed by Kahn as having enduring value to intelligence historians and complement his earlier books. ... Kahn offers students of intelligence history a context and useful starting point for their work. ... an interesting and worthwhile collection.
Alan MacLeod, University of Leeds, writing in the Journal of Military History, July 2014

About the Author

David Kahn is universally regarded as the dean of intelligence historians. He is the author of Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boats Codes, 1939-1943. His pathbreaking book The Codebreakers, the classic history of codemaking and codebreaking remains in stalwart print 45 years after its publication (portions have been updated). He is also the co-founder of the Taylor & Francis journal, Cryptologia, which continues to attract new subscribers.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Auerbach Publications (January 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466561998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466561991
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Kahn, a recently visiting historian at the National Security Agency, is the world's leading expert on the history of cryptology, and the author of Hitler's Spies, Seizing the Enigma, and Kahn on Codes, as well as articles in numerous popular and technical journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern History from Oxford. An editor at Newsday, he lives in Great Neck, New York.

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Format: Hardcover
When it comes to documenting the history of cryptography, David Kahn is singularly one of the finest, if not the finest writers in that domain. For anyone with an interest in the topic, Kahn’s works are read in detail and anticipated.

Kahn’s first book was written almost 50 years ago: The Codebreakers – The Story of Secret Writing; which was a comprehensive overview on the history of cryptography. It is now considered a classic. Another classic title of his is Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boats Codes, 1939-1943. The Codebreakers was so good and so groundbreaking, that some in the US intelligence community wanted the book banned. They did not bear a grudge, as Kahn became an NSA scholar-in-residence in the mid 1990’s. In 1996, Kahn updated his classic with a major update in The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet.

With such a pedigree, many were looking forward, including myself, to his latest book How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy and Other Stories of Intelligence and Code. While the entire book is fascinating, it is somewhat disingenuous, in that there is no new material in it. Many of the articles are decades old, and some go back to the late 1970’s. From the book description and cover, one would get the impression that this is an all new work. But it is not until ones reads the preface, that it is detailed that the book is simple an assemblage of collected articles.

For those that are long-time fans of Kahn, there is nothing new in the book. For those that want a wide-ranging overview of intelligence, espionage and codebreaking, the book does provide that.
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