The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages

The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages

by Paul Lunde
     
 

The art of the code—code making and code breaking—remains shrouded in mystery and seems locked away in the murky realms of military intelligence, spies, and secret services. Yet codes affect virtually every area of our lives, providing security, protecting identity, and enabling us to connect via the Internet across global boundaries. This lavishly

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Overview

The art of the code—code making and code breaking—remains shrouded in mystery and seems locked away in the murky realms of military intelligence, spies, and secret services. Yet codes affect virtually every area of our lives, providing security, protecting identity, and enabling us to connect via the Internet across global boundaries. This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia surveys the history and development of code making and code breaking in all areas of culture and society-from hieroglyphs and runes to DNA, the Zodiac Killer, The Da Vinci Code, graffiti, and beyond. Beginning with the first codes, including those found in the natural world and among ancient peoples, the book casts a wide net, exploring secret societies, codes of war, codes of the underworld, commerce, human behavior, and civilization itself. Editor Paul Lunde and an extraordinary group of specialists have compiled the most comprehensive and complete collection of codes available. Visually stunning and packed with fascinating details, The Book of Codes tells the complete story of codes at a time when they have become fundamentally important to our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“Has value even for those with only casual interest. . . . Illustrated with an abundance of vintage and new imagery.”
Foreword
“Codes takes us from petroglyphs to genes-with hundreds of truly fascinating, sometimes disturbing, excursions en route.”
St. Louis Post - Dispatch
“Densely researched, beautifully illustrated.”
Commercial Dispatch - Rob Hardy
“This is a fine book to bring reflection on just how secret or hidden or taken-for-granted codes run our lives.”
KALX Radio / Calliope
“A really fascinating read, accompanied by detailed and labeled illustrations and photographs.”
St. Louis Post – Dispatch
“Densely researched, beautifully illustrated.”
Library Journal
Copiously illustrated and laid out clearly and accessibly, this book reveals just how much we have partaken of code making in our history, even when we may not have called it that. In fact, the 13 thematic chapters will leave most readers amazed at the extent of coding in our lives, much of which we are so used to that we no longer even think of it as coding. Editor Lunde (Islam: Faith, Culture, History) shows us the full array of our hidden messages—though a code is not entirely "hidden" but expresses itself in different language. Lunde covers both created codes—such as the coding we use on watches to indicate time of day, the pulsed electricity of telegraph messages, the folk art language in quilts, the acronyms used in personal ads—and other kinds of indicators that humans read as codes, such as desert vegetation indicating a water source or clouds that warn of rain. The final chapter addresses codes in the digital age, but earlier Lunde has included a spread on "The Book in Your Hands," decoding this book's copyright page, and all of the language attendant to print publication and book binding. VERDICT This is a marvelously enlightening book, impressively organized and highly recommended for all curious readers. —Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520260139
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
8.94(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Has value even for those with only casual interest. . . . Illustrated with an abundance of vintage and new imagery."—New York Times Book Review

"A marvelously enlightening book, impressively organized and highly recommended for all curious readers."—Library Journal

"Codes takes us from petroglyphs to genes-with hundreds of truly fascinating, sometimes disturbing, excursions en route."—Foreword

"Densely researched, beautifully illustrated."—St. Louis Post - Dispatch

"This is a fine book to bring reflection on just how secret or hidden or taken-for-granted codes run our lives."—Commercial Dispatch

Meet the Author

Paul Lunde is the author of Islam: Faith, Culture, History and Organized Crime: An
Inside Guide to the World's Most Successful
Industry
and the coauthor of A Land Transformed, a history of Saudi Arabia.

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