The Code Book by Simon Singh

October 2006

No, it’s nothing to do with The Da Vinci Code. It is, instead, a book on “The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantam Cryptography” (as the subtitle says), and it is an absolutely fascinating journey through the history of codemakers and codebreakers.

Though the subject intrigues me, I was afraid The Code Book might be a dry trawl through some rather complex mathematical subject matter. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The book is written in an approachable narrative style, and difficult concepts related to encryption are explained in a way that even a non-mathematical person such as myself can follow them. Thanks to The Code Book, I finally understand how the Enigma machine worked - and that alone is worth the price of the book, to me. This is a really interesting, enjoyable book - and you’ll feel smarter after reading it. What more can you ask for?

Further reading…