The Cracking Code Book

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9780007176045: The Cracking Code Book

How to make it, break it, hack it, crack it.The secret history of codes and code breaking.Simon Singh's best-selling title The Code Book now re-issued for the young-adult market.The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography.Simon Singh brings life to an amazing story of puzzles, codes, languages and riddles - revealing the continual pursuit to disguise and uncover, and to work out the secret languages of others.Codes have influenced events throughout history, both in the stories of those who make them and those who break them. The betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots and the cracking of the enigma code that helped the Allies in World War II are major episodes in a continuing history of cryptography. In addition to stories of intrigue and warfare, Simon Singh also investigates other codes, the unravelling of genes and the rediscovery of ancient languages and most tantalisingly, the Beale ciphers, an unbroken code that could hold the key to a $20 million treasure.

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Review:

Calling upon accounts of political intrigue and tales of life and death, author Simon Singh tells history's most fascinating story of deception and cunning: the science of cryptography--the encoding and decoding of private information. Based on The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography, this version has been abridged and slightly simplified for a younger audience. None of the appeal for curious problem-solving minds has been lost, though. From Julius Caesar to the 10th-century Arabs; from Mary Queen of Scots to "Alice and Bob"; from the Germans' Enigma machine to the Navajo code talkers in World War II, Singh traces the use of code to protect--and betray--secrecy. Moving right into the present, he describes how the Information Age has provided a whole new set of challenges for cryptographers. How private are your e-mail communications? How secure is sending your credit card information over the Internet? And how much secrecy will the government tolerate? Complex but highly accessible, The Code Book will make readers see the past--and the future--in a whole new light. (Ages 14 and older)

From the Inside Flap:

It's known as the science of secrecy. Cryptography: the encoding and decoding of private information. And it is history's most fascinating story of intrigue and cunning. From Julius Caesar and his Caesar Cipher to the code used by Mary Queen of Scots and her conspiracy to the use of the Engima machine during the Second World War, Simon Singh follows the evolution of secret writing.
Accessible, compelling, and timely, this international bestseller, now adapted for young people, is sure to make readers see the past--and the future--in a whole new way.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Singh, Dr. Simon
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