Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

One of the greatest stories you've never heard is about the women code breakers, both civilian and military, who helped win the war one decryption at a time. Their story has been classified all these years and these women never broke their silence about their great contribution to not only the war effort but to cryptography itself. The book follows the advent of modern cryptographical efforts in the United States (and briefly in England). It also tracks a handful of individuals throughout the war to keep them firmly in the readers' mind.  


Mundy weaves a very engrossing tale of secrets and war. Not only does she describe several breakthroughs in cryptography throughout World Wars I and II, she highlights the lives of individuals who contributed greatly to America's effort to learn the enemy's secrets. There is also a glimpse into the lives of women during World War II and the attitudes and difficulties they had to face just to do their part. Code Girls is a wonderful tapestry of cryptography and a study of women's lives during the early to mid-Twentieth Century. An engrossing true story that finally is being told.

You can find Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy on the VBPL Catalog. If you enjoyed Code Girls, you may want to try Codebreaker: The History of Codes and Ciphers, from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography by Stephen Pincock or The Code Book: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It by Simon Singh.

Review by Michelle L. Chrzanowski, NASA's Scientific and Technical Information Program

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