Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War IIIn 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the "Adam and Eve" of the NSA, Elizebeth's story, incredibly, has never been toldIn The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation's history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizabeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler's Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma--and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.Fagone unveils America's code-breaking history through the prism of Smith's life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence. Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson's bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation Game, The Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest....
|Title||:||The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies|
|Number of Pages||:||444 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies|
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies Reviews
This book had the potential to be awesome (looking at other reviews!). However, the writing style of this journalist-turned-author comes off like a recitation of facts. Elizebeth is a fascinating woman that history ignored, her accomplishments and life man-splained away. As much as I appreciated learning about this dynamic figure, I found the writing dry and bogged down with too much detail.
A story that begs to be told, Elizabeth Friedman was a strong and adaptable woman whose story has been hidden far to long. She was a major actor in the Allied win in WWII. We are much aware of British code breaking but little aware of the work done in the U.S. especially of this unsung hero. Elizabeth and her husband worked together for many years and then in separate projects. He became known to other code breakers but Elizabeth was neither paid well or adequately recognized. For those who knew ...more
A great historical read about a couple I had never really heard of, but who had major influence on code breaking, cryptology and the shadow war during WWII. I thought it was fascinating how they were so good at breaking codes and ciphers without ever really being trained, they were almost completely self taught. There was some profanity sprinkled throughout, and few of their dairy entries and letters to each other were a bit personal and lewd.
Possibly one of the best books I have ever read. Even better than Hidden Figures. Thank you Jason Fagone for bringing Elizebeth Friedman into my life. When I first picked up this title, I thought maybe Fagone found a woman who was impressive, but not necessarily one of the most amazing women to ever live, to make the subject of his new book. It seemed possible that perhaps he was overselling her accomplishments and underselling the recognition she received in the history books, all in an effort ...more
I loved learning about Elizebeth Smith Friedman and her foundational work with cryptoanalysis in the US before and during WWII. This was a great previously hidden history of a woman in a unique position for her time. Fagone cleverly comes up with great descriptions of Elizebeth's code breaking. She smashes, tears apart, etc codes. He keeps the description fresh despite writing about her deciphering many times.
Overall I enjoyed this book but found it a little overlong. Despite it feeling a little ...more
I recently read “Code Girls” by Liza Mundy. This book “The Woman Who Smashed Codes” makes a nice addition or compliment to the storyline. Elizabeth Smith Friedman is the subject of this book. Mundy also mentioned Elizabeth’s husband, William F. Friedman, and deemed them to be an important team of cryptologists. William F. Friedman was famous in World War Two for breaking Purple, the Japanese cipher machine.
Elizabeth Smith was a college educated teacher who was recruited by George Fabyan to work ...more
Frequently slow, but the topic of a woman’s skills in solving mysteries involving codes or cryptic messages is fascinating.
This is one of a number of interesting titles that have come out this year, all celebrating women in unusual roles who made important contributions but were overlooked in their male dominated fields. For fans of spy fiction with codes and codebreaking, this is a particularly interesting one. It chronicles the life of Elizabeth Smith Friedman, a Shakespeare scholar who worked for the eccentric George Fabyan (known to those of us in the Chicago area) but made her name, along with that of her husba ...more