The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies

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The history of cryptography has seen some huge revelations over the last decade or so, and one of the figures who has benefitted from all this new information is William Friedman, a cornerstone of the NSA.

But Elizebeth Friedman, more than simply his wife and partner, was also a codebreaking genius and hero in her own right, one who has been left in the shadows, tucked away by the sexist revisionism of history. Until now.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes rights that wrong, giving Elizebeth and her amazing contributions a well-deserved spotlight. Whether it’s her work attacking the German ENIGMA codes or the codebreaking that followed as she pursued the Nazis into South America on behalf of the Coast Guard, her praises are sung in lavishly detailed fashion by Fagone.

Not only does the author go into exquisite detail explaining the codebreaking techniques that Elizebeth invented, but he almost gleefully punctures the facades of Hoover, the FBI, and the other self-serving historical “icons” who worked to undermine and dismiss the contributions she made to American history, its safety, and its tools for defending itself in the future.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes is historical reporting done right, assigning credit where it is long overdue.

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Author Jason Fagone
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Dey Street Books
Publish Date 2017-Sep-26
ISBN 9780062430489
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2018
Category History
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