The Code Book

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The Code Book
Author Simon Singh
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Factual
Publisher Fourth Estate
Publication date
September 1999
Pages 416 pp (first edition)
ISBN 978-1-85702-879-9
OCLC 59459928

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography is a book by Simon Singh, published in New York in 1999 by Doubleday; ISBN 0-385-49531-5.


The Code Book covers diverse historical topics including the Man in the Iron Mask, Arabic cryptography, Charles Babbage, the mechanisation of cryptography, the Enigma machine, and the decryption of Linear B and other ancient writing systems.

Later sections cover the development of public-key cryptography. Some of this material is based on interviews with participants, including persons who worked in secret at GCHQ.

The book concludes with a discussion of "pretty good privacy" (PGP), quantum computing, and quantum cryptography.

The book announced a "cipher challenge" of a series of ten progressively harder ciphers, with a cash prize of £10,000 which has since been won.[1]

The book is not footnoted but has a "Further Reading" section at the end, organized by chapter.


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