The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

Category: Military
Author: Simon Singh
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by Jtsummers   2022-03-01
(Including Amazon links, but just for convenience, buy wherever you want)

Code by Petzold ( - non-technical (in the sense it isn't something to "work through"), covers a lot of interesting topics. Especially approachable for that age.

Elements of Computing Systems by Nisan & Schoken ( - more technical (has content to work through). I've read the first edition, not the second. Has a companion site:

The Codebreakers by Kahn (

I was always interested in ciphers and such as a kid so those two books got my attention when I found them in high school/college. I'm a bit fuzzy, now, about which one I was more interested in but both were good books. (I still have them, may give them a re-read next month.)

There are a few others I have in mind, but just can't recall the titles at the moment.

by thebigdbandito   2018-02-16

What's the difference between this one and this one ?

by ginger_snapping   2018-02-16

This book is great. I read it a number of years ago and couldn't get enough.

by fduran   2017-08-19
"The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography" has a chapter about the Enigma. This book is easy to read as a nice intro to many crypto topics.

"Alan Turing: The Enigma" , supposedly the best biography of Turing, I enjoyed it. There's quite a bit on his work on the Enigma but not technical.

by McP   2017-08-19
Simon Singh is the star speaker. His specialty is taking very dry subjects and writing about them in a way that makes them fascinating. "The Code Book" is his best IMO
by borga   2017-08-19
And there is a lot of its history on the Code Book