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The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet [Hardcover]

David Kahn
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £50.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Oct 1997
With a new chapter on computer security issues, this updated and revised history of codes and codebreaking takes the reader from the protocryptography of Egyptian Pharoah Khnuumhotep II through to the speculations of scientists solving messages from outer space.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2nd Revised edition edition (6 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684831309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684831305
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.8 x 5.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The Christian Science Monitor" A literary blockbuster...for many evening of gripping reading, no better choice can be made than this book.

About the Author

David Kahn, a recently visiting historian at the National Security Agency, is the world's leading expert on the history of cryptology, and the author of "Hitler's Spies, Seizing the Enigma, " and "Kahn on Codes, " as well as articles in numerous popular and technical journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern History from Oxford. An editor at "Newsday, " he lives in Great Neck, New York.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reprint of a classic, but not updated to 1990s 30 April 1997
By A Customer
The 1967 edition of this book is and always will be a classic. What a disappointment to find that this new edition offers such a poor updating of new information which has come to light over the last the 30 years. If the revelations of the 1970s about the Enigma decrypts and the Bletchley Colossus machines did not warrant at least a major chapter, what does? (They get only brief treatment in the new 15 page addendum.) Numerous other omissions come to mind. This book deserved better for its new edition.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on Cryptography. 28 Aug 1998
By A Customer
David Kahn's newest book updates his previous work, which sits on every Cryptographer's, Cryptanalyst's, and government Special Intelligence officer's bookshelf in the entire world. If you REALLY want to how ciphers, codes, and systems are broken, Kahn is the author who tells you. Any person knowledgable in the field of Cryptology or Intelligence will tell you that Kahn' book has never been equalled. It is known as "The Bible of Cryptology" within the field.
From early Sparta and Rome to the present day, the strengths and weaknesses of systems and devices are presented in clear, concise terms -- occassionally with a bit of levity, where appropriate. Novices in the field will find much useful -- and highly interesting -- information. Professionals always find reminders of the fallability of "unbreakable" systems.
Kahn's writing style is clear, concise, and analytical. It is never boring.
I was employed by a maker of Cryptographic equipment, and was authorized to discuss key generator and cipher system issues with the heads of national governments. A copy of "Codebreakers" was our most requested -- and welcomed gift. That speaks more eloquently than any words I might craft.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interested in Code Breaking 21 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a massive tome of a book and will take a long time to read, but I had involvement and have remained interest in all aspects of ciphers.
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