- Gebundene Ausgabe: 1200 Seiten
- Verlag: Scribner; Auflage: Revised. (5. Dezember 1996)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0684831309
- ISBN-13: 978-0684831305
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,5 x 6,6 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 13 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 106.531 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 5. Dezember 1996
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"Few false ideas have more firmly gripped the minds of so many intelligent men than the one that, if they just tried, they could invent a cipher that no one could break," writes David Kahn in this massive (almost 1,200 pages) volume. Most of The Codebreakers focuses on the 20th century, especially World War II. But its reach is long. Kahn traces cryptology's origins to the advent of writing. It seems that as soon as people learned how to record their thoughts, they tried to figure out ways of keeping them hidden. Kahn covers everything from the theory of ciphering to the search for "messages" from outer space. He concludes with a few thoughts about encryption on the Internet.
The Washington Post Kahn has produced a tour de force...The volume is an anthology of a hundred detective stories, one more ingenious than the last, and all real, central to the fate of armies and kingdoms....Magnificent.
The Christian Science Monitor A literary blockbuster...for many evening of gripping reading, no better choice can be made than this book.
Time Perhaps the best and most complete account of cryptography yet published.
The New York Times Book Review A notable achievement...Mr. Kahn has presented the specialist and the general public with a lavishly comprehensive introduction to a subject of basic significance for both.
Prepublication National Security Agency Evaluation, now declassified The book in its entirelty constitutes the most publicly revealing picture that has ever been presented of U.S. Sigint activities and the agencies engaged in this field.
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Kahn does not create a textbook for the serious cryptologist; such a work would be more mathematical in approach. What he does is give, from a layman's view, a good mid-level history of the art/science of cryptology. The first chapter, covering the cryptanalytic events of Pearl Harbor, brings you in; then he goes over the history of secret writing from the days of Egyptian hieroglyphics to roughly the present day. Interesting areas include the discussion of the European "black chambers" of the 1600s and 1700s, a good talk about how rumrunners in the Prohibition days used complex code/cipher combinations to thwart the Noble Experiment, and a highly entertaining chapter on the "ciphers" that proved Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare's works.
The updated edition falls short in its attempt at updating, which is why I don't give another star to the book. The discussion of cryptography in the world of the Internet is far too thin to satisfy. This, of course, could be a function of the beast; the Internet and electronic cryptology changes faster than any book could keep up with. In addition, information on the Enigma and other areas of World War II cryptology, declassified since the previous edition, could have been added to increase understanding of this critical time. However, the remaining "classic" text is still excellent, and has served as the layman's reference on cryptologic history for thirty years.
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.
history of classical (non-computer) ciphers, codes, and secret writing.
The book is carefully researched: 153 of its 1164 pages
are endnotes. But Kahn's writing is very readable, and includes
many human interest stories in addition to historical and technical
treatments of his topics.
Crypto buffs have never been able to understand why this
1967 book keeps going out of print.
(Don't let the 1983 reprint date fool you; the book leaves off in the
mid-60's. Also, don't be confused by the paperback version,
which is much shorter than the hardcover version.)
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