Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Enthralling

    I had always wondered how they did these things and the book was supremely informative. I am not a mathematician or a linguist but the methodology was explained so thoroughly and clearly that it was like reading a crime novel. Also, I had always been baffled about Linear B and had wondered if there was a Linear A (which there is). I would recommend the book to those that like to resolve crossword puzzles and that type of problems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Cool Book

    This book is pretty good and told me about a lot of fun encyrption codes.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    highly Recommended

    If you are interested in cryptography definitely check it out even though you are not you'll find it quite interesting, it's well written and perfectly understandable, this book will give you a good insight on the subject from code makers to code breakers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Stories about code breaking.... nuff said.

    Interesting read, full of good info about code making and breaking history. Written in an entertaining way, it was hard to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Incredibly interesting

    Who would have thought a book about cryptography and cryptanalysis could be so interesting. Singh brings a fantastic historical perspective into the battle between code makers and code breakers. The unsung heroes of wars, the deciphering of ancient languages, and the breakthroughs in science and mathematics that make secure communications and electronic commerce possible are made approachable through Singh's great work in this book. A great historical look into the use of ciphers and how they were cracked. For the geek at heart... this one is for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Highly Recommended - Great Author

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    highly recommended

    Fascinating historical and mathematical progression in relation to "codes" and "codebreaking". I enjoyed how he tied in ancient languages. Overall, highly recommended.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Cryptogrophy book

    This is an excellent overview of Cryptogrophy through the ages. It goes over the underlining princibles of cyphers by time period, then explains how the cyphers can be broken.

    Most of the informations seems to be between entry level and mid-level.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    How cipher-men won the wars and were generally awesome

    Quite a good job at making crypto accessible, with fascinating anecdotes on everything from lost civilizations to fainting frenchmen. And, as with Fermat's Last Theorem, Singh has a knack of bringing out the depth and color of the people and crises in espionage and modern tech.

    The book mostly follows wars, and is not shy to report the more gruesome fates befalling those who trusted their spy code tricks. The geniuses and the subterfuge they wreak are actually fun to follow and Singh gently explains how their magic actually worked.

    Criticisms: Some of the claims about perfect security in the last chapter seemed premature. The flow between some chapters is disjointed, but it's entertaining and covers a very broad subject in satisfying depth.

    My day job is modifying security software and it was very cool to read the story behind DH key exchange. DH was completely mind-blowing when I first understood it. Singh put me in the room as the college kids were discovering it. And that was thrilling to me.

    Almost every chapter in this book weaves a good story, connecting you to the protagonists and spectating over their epic battles of mind against mind. Singh has put a lot of time and research into this book and it shows admirably.

    I liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2007

    Awesome, yet a little confusing.

    The book goes into great detail about the past, present, and future of codes and cryptography. When he talks about the actual process of the different machines and ways to make codes, it gets a little confusing. Great book though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Perfect place to start

    Excellent book, the author obviously has a strong understanding for the history. The explainations are simple to understand and provide a intresting detailed history. I would highly recomend this book to any one intrested in the subject. It is a great starting point to build from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Not a coffee table book

    I am a high school student and I have successfully learned cryptanalysis (a tool for deciphering secret messages), the history and downfall of the Enigma Machine, and even quantum encryption from simple examples such as the Beale Cipher and Alice, Bob, and Eve's key distribution problem from this excellent book. If you want to delve into a more advanced piece of literature than your childhood A=1 B=2 C=3 code book, then you should read this. This is not a coffee table book, although its class supercedes any ordinary one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2002

    Makes it all clear

    I enjoyed reading this book. It is informative and entertaining, and made difficult concepts easy to understand. For the first time I could know what is behind the public key, private key encription. The historical anecdotes are also delightful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    I agree with the other reviews - can't put it down!

    I just echo what the other reviewers said. This isn't a math book, it is a history book. I read this after thoroughly enjoying 'Fermat's Enigma' by the same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2001

    At last a book to make you think

    This book is one of those rare breeds: a non-fiction book that you just cannot put down. It is gripping to find your imagination piqued by the types of minds that tackle problems of this magnitude. References to enigma codebreaking by the allies in WW2 and the Navajo language used in the Pacific arena are no less mind-boggling than Mary Queen of Scots losing her head as her treason is uncovered form a coded letter. I loved this book. Well done, Simon Singh!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Great Historical Perspective

    The Code Book is an enjoyable read that covers a fairly decent range of history regarding codes and cryptography. However, it is not all encompassing and does not cover all aspects of history or modern innovations. I found the history of Germany's Enigma and the efforts to defeat it quite detailed and very interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2001

    Great Book!

    This was a great book because it was not only educational and stimulating, but also was very easy to understand. It inspired a love for codemaking and breaking in me and I now have an unquenchable thirst for information about cryptography and cryptanal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    Wow!!!

    This book was amazing!!! I recently bought it for my uncle as a Christmas present, thinking he might enjoy it, but as I flipped through it, I realized I had to keep it for myself! I read the entire thing in 2 days. It is so intriguing and fascinating. There are even codes in the back you can break. I got the first one, and don't plan on stopping yet! This is a must have for anyone who has ever thought in passing, 'Codes are kinda cool' or anyone interested in a very intellectually stimulating book. It's great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2000

    Very Frank Look at our world and our data, thoughts and ideas

    I work with computers and sensitive data day in and day out. Having been a student of codes and ciphers as a youth, I was reminded sharply of the needs for protection of data in our modern world. My company's customers work with sensitive data that must be shared with their customers and regulatory and public agencies. After reading this book, I foresee a need for process and plant data to be protected by some sort of secure transaction layer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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