The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone

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Read The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies Online Free - Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II

In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the "Adam and Eve" of the NSA, Elizebeth's story, incredibly, has never been told

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation's history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizabeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler's Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma--and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.Fagone unveils America's code-breaking history through the prism of Smith's life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence.

Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson's bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation Game, The Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest.

Title : The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062430483
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Ollivier rated it ★★★★★

October 01, 2017

Anyone interested in the History of cryptography knows William F. Friedman, known as the man who broke Purple the Japanese cipher machine and many things. But who did know that his wife, née Elizebeth Smith, was his equal in cryptographic skills? She created a Coast Guard cryptographic team, brok...

Rick rated it ★★★★★

September 29, 2017

Immediately added to my favorites shelf. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The Woman Who Smashed Codes will be compared with Hidden Figures, and that's fair, to a point. Both books have at their core a story of remarkable scientific/mathematic achievement, overlooked because of gender, l...

Marlene rated it ★★★★★

October 15, 2017

Originally published at Reading Reality Once upon a time in the West, a wealthy and charismatic man whisked a young woman off to a luxurious life on his expansive estate. And even though that sentence is true, this is not that kind of story. Although it is a love story. And a war story. And a spy s...

Vicki rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2017

There is so much to think about in this book. Cryptography, women in the workforce, the start of the NSA, World War 1, World War 2, privacy, work, marriage, partnership, humanity, what it means to leave behind a legacy, the dignity of intellectual work, motherhood - and so, so much more. It's a d...

Katelyn rated it ★★★☆☆

October 06, 2017

I loved learning about Elizebeth Smith Friedman and her foundational work with cryptoanalysis in the US before and during WWII. This was a great previously hidden history of a woman in a unique position for her time. Fagone cleverly comes up with great descriptions of Elizebeth's code breaking. S...

Florence rated it ★★★★☆

October 06, 2017

The author has rendered a masterful story of the remarkable, talented Elizabeth Smith Friedman. She deciphered and broke the codes of rum runners during the Prohibition days, broke codes of the enemy in WWI and particularly deciphered and broke the sophisticated codes in the "silent war" against...

Ann rated it ★★★☆☆

October 18, 2017

I enjoyed this book about Elizabeth Smith, later Friedman, who played an important role in the development of cryptanalysis in the USA. As a young college-educated woman in the 1910s, there were not that many careers open to her apart from teaching. So when the wealthy George Fabyan offered her a...

Susan rated it ★★★★☆

October 03, 2017

Elizebeth (that's how she spelled it) Smith was a young college graduate who wanted an interesting job. She got it when she was hired by an eccentric millionaire who wanted her to read a cipher concealed in the First Folio, he believed, that proved Francis Bacon had written the works of Shakespea...

Nettie rated it ★★★★☆

October 15, 2017

“The Woman Who Smashed Codes” is incredibly rich in historical background. It’s a remarkable, extremely readable non-fiction work written by Jason Fagone. The story revolves around Elizebeth Smith, an extraordinary woman who was truly ahead of her time and who has surely secured her place in the...

Rachel rated it ★★★☆☆

September 30, 2017

History as Mystery A well-written and researched book about a topic few people know about. It read like a spy thriller, making history an intriguing read along the lines of Devil in the White City.

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