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The Codebreakers


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Table of Contents


Preface to the Revised Edition


A Few Words

1. One Day of Magic


2. The First 3,000 Years

3. The Rise of the West

4. On the Origin of a Species

5. The Era of the Black Chambers

6. The Contribution of the Dilettantes

7. Crises of the Union

8. The Professor, the Soldier, and the Man on Devil's Island

9. Room 40

10. A War of Intercepts: I

11. A War of Intercepts: II

12. Two Americans

13. Secrecy for Sale

14. Duel in the Ether: The Axis

15. Duel in the Ether: Neutrals and Allies

16. Censors, Scramblers, and Spies

17. The Scrutable Orientals

18. Russkaya Kriptologiya ("Russian Cryptology")

19. N.S.A.


20. The Anatomy of Cryptology

21. Heterogeneous Impulses

22. Rumrunners, Businessmen, and Makers of Non-secret Codes

23. Ciphers in the Past Tense

24. The Pathology of Cryptology


25. Ancestral Voices

26. Messages from Outer Space


27. Cryptology Goes Public


Notes to Text


Notes to Illustrations


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.


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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