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Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing Paperback – Oct 1 1984


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Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing + The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography + Cryptanalysis: A Study of Ciphers and Their Solution
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (Oct. 1 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486247619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486247618
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.7 x 0.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Davin Enigl on May 9 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a little out of date and a little too basic. It is for the beginner and is not an advanced text. The best thing that it is short. Because it is so short, it had to be packed densely with information, no wordiness. I've never had enough time to read The Codebreakers book, too big. Here I got informed in minimal time and the book is much less expensive -- it's got a better cost to read ratio and cost to information ratio.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great reference of basic codes. Excellent explanations, examples. Don't expect anything too intense, and you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
Very well written. This book offers an introduction to "crypto-stuff" such as mono/polyalphabetic substitutions and grille methods. It doesn't go into much of anything else in huge detail, but it offers many methods including "how to build" your own encoding/decoding tools. If you're looking for some fun reading, I highly recommend it. If you're serious about learning though, check out "the code breakers" by kahn.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating introductory book about codes and ciphers. It is very readable and understandable for young adults and older. Anyone who is interested in codes and ciphers will like, and want to own this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
fun for beginners... July 3 1999
By "usdevildogs" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Very well written. This book offers an introduction to "crypto-stuff" such as mono/polyalphabetic substitutions and grille methods. It doesn't go into much of anything else in huge detail, but it offers many methods including "how to build" your own encoding/decoding tools. If you're looking for some fun reading, I highly recommend it. If you're serious about learning though, check out "the code breakers" by kahn.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Non-Mathematical Intro to Ciphers of Historical Interest June 13 2007
By Jeff Martens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a good, well-written book requiring essentially no mathematical background. It's appropriate for teens and older folks interested ciphers. As another writer has pointed out, it's not current (this is a Dover reprint of a 1972 Simon & Schuster work), and the very few places where it says a code is still in use, it's likely not. I don't view this as a problem.

Ciphers are categorized and historical development is given. Invisible inks and the like are discussed, as are microdots, and SETI, though not by that name. Modern ciphers get no mention whatsoever--thus the non-mathematical nature. The approach doesn't consider computers to any real extent. Also, certain historical items that could have been covered, like the Enigma, aren't mentioned.

There are three weaknesses, IMHO, that keep it below 5 stars.
(1) Most of the ciphers presented have a set of possible setups, which can effectively be considered keys. E.g., the Caesar Cipher, using the Roman alphabet, has 25 different possible versions, which can be considered 25 different keys. Gardner makes no attempt to explain the relative complexities of breaking the various ciphers.
(2) The age.
(3) There is no index, but the table of contents is detailed.

I expect to use a few of these ciphers in introductory computing classes (think CS1, CS2) in the near future--the explanations are clear enough for undergrads with no real background and minimal interest.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good basic codes, great for beginners. Sept. 27 2002
By M.B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great reference of basic codes. Excellent explanations, examples. Don't expect anything too intense, and you won't be disappointed.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Very educational, practical introduction to codes & ciphers Feb. 4 1999
By Jonathan Clegg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating introductory book about codes and ciphers. It is very readable and understandable for young adults and older. Anyone who is interested in codes and ciphers will like, and want to own this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Cool stuff Jan. 12 2013
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It had a lot of ways to decipher and make codes. It was cool. I liked it a lot. I am 12 and my brother is 8. He likes it too

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