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

4.7 out of 5 stars 481 customer reviews

This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Kindle App Ad
eBook features:
  • Highlight, take notes, and search in the book
  • Length: 432 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Page Flip: Enabled
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download
Sold by: Random House LLC
Price set by seller.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

New from Used from
Kindle, January 26, 2011
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission by Bob Drury
Featured World War II History Titles
From the authors of New York Times best-selling The Heart of Everything That Is and Halsey's Typhoon comes the white-knuckle World War II aviation tale of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice that reads like Unbroken meets The Dirty Dozen. Learn more | See related books
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews Review

People love secrets, and ever since the first word was written, humans have written coded messages to each other. In The Code Book, Simon Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption. Singh's compelling history is woven through with stories of how codes and ciphers have played a vital role in warfare, politics, and royal intrigue. The major theme of The Code Book is what Singh calls "the ongoing evolutionary battle between codemakers and codebreakers," never more clear than in the chapters devoted to World War II. Cryptography came of age during that conflict, as secret communications became critical to either side's success.

Confronted with the prospect of defeat, the Allied cryptanalysts had worked night and day to penetrate German ciphers. It would appear that fear was the main driving force, and that adversity is one of the foundations of successful codebreaking.

In the information age, the fear that drives cryptographic improvements is both capitalistic and libertarian--corporations need encryption to ensure that their secrets don't fall into the hands of competitors and regulators, and ordinary people need encryption to keep their everyday communications private in a free society. Similarly, the battles for greater decryption power come from said competitors and governments wary of insurrection. The Code Book is an excellent primer for those wishing to understand how the human need for privacy has manifested itself through cryptography. Singh's accessible style and clear explanations of complex algorithms cut through the arcane mathematical details without oversimplifying. Can't get enough crypto? Try solving the Cipher Challenge in the back of the book--$15,000 goes to the first person to crack the code! --Therese Littleton

From Publishers Weekly

In an enthralling tour de force of popular explication, Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, explores the impact of cryptographyAthe creation and cracking of coded messagesAon history and society. Some of his examples are familiar, notably the Allies' decryption of the Nazis' Enigma machine during WWII; less well-known is the crucial role of Queen Elizabeth's code breakers in deciphering Mary, Queen of Scots' incriminating missives to her fellow conspirators plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, which led to Mary's beheading in 1587. Singh celebrates a group of unsung heroes of WWII, the Navajo "code talkers," Native American Marine radio operators who, using a coded version of their native language, played a vital role in defeating the Japanese in the Pacific. He also elucidates the intimate links between codes or ciphers and the development of the telegraph, radio, computers and the Internet. As he ranges from Julius Caesar's secret military writing to coded diplomatic messages in feuding Renaissance Italy city-states, from the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone to the ingenuity of modern security experts battling cyber-criminals and cyber-terrorists, Singh clarifies the techniques and tricks of code makers and code breakers alike. He lightens the sometimes technical load with photos, political cartoons, charts, code grids and reproductions of historic documents. He closes with a fascinating look at cryptanalysts' planned and futuristic tools, including the "one-time pad," a seemingly unbreakable form of encryption. In Singh's expert hands, cryptography decodes as an awe-inspiring and mind-expanding story of scientific breakthrough and high drama. Agent, Patrick Walsh. (Oct.) FYI: The book includes a "Cipher Challenge," offering a $15,000 reward to the first person to crack that code.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 17406 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 26, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8PLE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

on November 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
77 comments| 196 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
11 comment| 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
0Comment| 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
0Comment| 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?