The Code Book by Simon Singh

March 23, 2007
2 min. read

I’m sorry, you can no longer win $15,000 by reading this book. It was the announcement of the solution to the 10 cipher challenges, located in the back of The Code Book, that made me aware of this book. Money aside, if you are interested in learning of the history of codes and ciphers, this book is for you!

Did you know that Mary Queens of Scots was killed by Queen Elizabeth, because her code was not strong enough to foil the code breakers of the time. Have you ever heard of the Navajo Code Talkers that offered the US Marines a method of secure ground communications in World War II? (Probably more so after the Windtalkers movie.) Do you know the full story behind the breaking of the German’s Enigma Code in the same war? Do you know that the first computer was build in England, not the US?

I knew most of the above facts before reading this book. However, as with most people’s understanding of history, my ideas were seriously flawed in the details. This book allows you to start out with the world’s earliest codes and learn how to do a little code breaking of your own. If you are at all interested in either the technical or historical history of code breaking, you will enjoy this book. This is the first technical history book that read like a good piece of fiction. When you realize that the action packed stories are historical fact, the book only shines more.

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