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The Code Book is a book on the History of Cryptography and Cryptanalysis by Dr. Simon Singh.
This book starts off with the simplest of Ciphers - A mono- alphabetic Substitution cipher and it ends
with the Public key cryptography - The RSA Algorithm. Some new ciphers like AES are missing.
The explanations for all the simple ciphers are excellent and the cryptanalysis of some of the ciphers are given which are also very interesting. The best part of the book is the Cracking of Enigma, at this point you really cannot put down the book. There is an interesting chapter about Quantum computing as well. Although the details about Quantum computers are very less, the chapter itself is very good.
On a whole the book has Eight chapters, starting of with the small ciphers which can be encrypted and decrypted easily with a pen and paper, till complex algorithms whose technical details are not provided as they are not in the scope of the book. The book also has thirteen Appendices, where some ciphers are explained which are not explained in the chapters and some Cryptanalysis tips are given. There is also a Cipher challenge in the book which has Ten Cipher texts which the reader can decipher if interested.
Good Things in the Book:
* Very interesting read. Along with the ciphers the history of all the ciphers and cryptanalysis of the ciphers are given, which adds to the interest in the algorithm.
* For a beginner this is a very good book as it doesn't complicate any of the ciphers and gives a easy way to understand cryptography.
* I liked the cipher challenge very much. Although I haven't decoded all the text yet, it makes you like the book more.
Not so good things in the book:
* Some more algorithms could have been included in the main book without putting them as an appendix. It would be good to have the history of more ciphers.
* More than necessary information about Pretty Good Privacy: that chapter will definitely bore you.
* Towards the end, the technical details of the ciphers are missing. I know it would have complicated the book had the technical details been given, at least putting them in a appendix would have been better.
Conclusion:
I liked this book very much. I think anyone who has an interest in cryptography would enjoy this book very much. Try it out.
 

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i love all his books. Try reading fermat's enigma if you like this.

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One of the best books I have read. As well as being an excellent writer, Simon Singh is an excellent teacher. He can take seemingly complex concepts and break them down into its simple components to make anyone understand them.

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http://www.sindark.com/2007/08/14/the-code-book/
Simon Singh’s The Code Book proves, once again, that he is a superlatively skilled writer on technical and scientific subjects. Thanks to his book
, I now actually understand how Enigma worked and how it was broken: likewise, the Vigenere Cipher that has been built into this site for so long. This book manages to capture both major reasons for which cryptography is so fascinating: the technical aspects, centred around the ingenuity of the methods themselves, and the historical dramas connected, from the execution of Mary Queen of Scots to the use of ULTRA intelligence during the Second World War.
Anybody who has any interest in code-making or code-breaking should read this book, unless they already know so much about the subject as to make Singh’s clear and comprehensible explanations superfluous. Even then, it may arm them with valuable tools for explaining interesting concepts to the less well initiated.
At the end of the book is a series of ten ciphers for the reader to break. Originally, there was a £15,000 prize for the first person to crack the lot. Now, they exist for the amusement of amateur cryptologists. I doubt very much I will get through all ten, but I am giving it a try. The first ciphertext is on his website and is helpfully labeled ‘Simple Monoalphabetic Substitution Cipher.’ I expect to crack it quickly.
 

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Amy Pooley - Goodreads

This book is an incredible introduction to cryptography. The writing is incredibly clear and engaging. Singh is charming. It's just great. Read full review

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Iker - Goodreads

Simon Singh manages to explain very complex ideas in a very simple way, the way only a master on the subject can do. A great book on the history of cryptography for the layman, where an interesting introduction to the deciphering of ancient language scripts can be found. Read full review

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Wilson - Goodreads

The more Singh I read the more I really wish I'd pursued maths further than I did. The man has an excellent ability to mix the maths and number theory behind a code/encryption/cypher with the personal ... Read full review

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Vishwanath - Goodreads

The book takes the reader from something as simple as the mono alphabet substitution cipher to making him/her relatively comfortable with understanding quantum cryptography. What is interesting is ... Read full review

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Morten - Goodreads

Very interesting book about encryption and its historic development. Highly recommendable if you are into maths/computer science/history. Read full review

Review: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

User Review  - Miles Zarathustra - Goodreads

Great stories, and comprehensive descriptions of security technology. From Queen Elizabeth, to Alan Turring, to Quantum theory. Fun to read and informative. The best description of private key encryption that I have ever seen. Read full review


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