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"Few false ideas have more firmly gripped the minds of so many intelligent men than the one that, if they just tried, they could invent a cipher that no one could break," writes David Kahn in this massive (almost 1,200 pages) volume. Most of The Codebreakers focuses on the 20th century, especially World War II. But its reach is long. Kahn traces cryptology's origins to the advent of writing. It seems that as soon as people learned how to record their thoughts, they tried to figure out ways of keeping them hidden. Kahn covers everything from the theory of ciphering to the search for "messages" from outer space. He concludes with a few thoughts about encryption on the Internet.
The Washington Post Kahn has produced a tour de force...The volume is an anthology of a hundred detective stories, one more ingenious than the last, and all real, central to the fate of armies and kingdoms....Magnificent.
The Christian Science Monitor A literary blockbuster...for many evening of gripping reading, no better choice can be made than this book.
Time Perhaps the best and most complete account of cryptography yet published.
The New York Times Book Review A notable achievement...Mr. Kahn has presented the specialist and the general public with a lavishly comprehensive introduction to a subject of basic significance for both.
Prepublication National Security Agency Evaluation, now declassified The book in its entirelty constitutes the most publicly revealing picture that has ever been presented of U.S. Sigint activities and the agencies engaged in this field.
Weighty and thorough.
Between this , Simon Singh and Helen Fouche Gaines, one has reason to assume that an extensive introduction to this field of knowledge has been gained.
This is the essential history of cryptography at least through WW II. But of course, at the time it was published none of the ULTRA and Enigma decrypts had been released. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2001 by El Cutachero
This book is excellent. It gives the history of cryptography from ancient times up to recent events. Read more
Definitely one of those books that will lead to a month or two of *excellent* reading. Kahn covers a mountainload of material, all at a light-to-medium depth, enough to wet your... Read morePublished on July 14 2001
I finally broke down and bought Kahn's THE CODEBREAKERS since it was generally recommended as *the* popular book on the topic. Read morePublished on April 22 2001 by Greg Goebel
This book is not intended to teach the reader how to design or cryptanalyze codes and ciphers; it is a history book, and a really great one. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2001 by Victor A. Vyssotsky
I was amazed at the amount of information that David Kahn put into this book. Originally written in the 60's, he updated the book about five years ago to include the internet and... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2001 by Greg Wolfinger
.. .Kahn's book was the second book I read on the history of cryptology, Simon Singh's "The Code Book" being the first. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2001 by Richard T. Leitner