Prisoners, Lovers, And Spies: The Story Of Invisible Ink From Herodotus To Al-qaeda

Hardcover | March 25, 2014

byKristie Macrakis

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Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies is a book about concealing and revealing secret communications. It is the first history of invisible writing, uncovered through stories about scoundrels and heroes. Spies were imprisoned or murdered, adultery unmasked, and battles lost because of faulty or intercepted secret communications. Yet, successfully hidden writing helped save lives, win battles, and ensure privacy; occasionally it even changed the course of history.

Kristie Macrakis combines a storyteller’s sense of drama with a historian’s respect for evidence in this page-turning history of intrigue and espionage, love and war, magic and secrecy. From the piazzas of ancient Rome to the spy capitals of the Cold War, Macrakis's global history reveals the drama and importance of invisible ink. From Ovid’s advice to use milk for illicit love notes, to John Gerard's dramatic escape from the Tower of London aided by orange juice ink messages, to al-Qaeda’s hidden instructions in pornographic movies, this book presents spellbinding stories of secret messaging that chart its evolution in sophistication and its impact on history. An appendix includes fun kitchen chemistry recipes for readers to try out at home.

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From the Publisher

Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies is a book about concealing and revealing secret communications. It is the first history of invisible writing, uncovered through stories about scoundrels and heroes. Spies were imprisoned or murdered, adultery unmasked, and battles lost because of faulty or intercepted secret communications. Yet, successfull...

Kristie Macrakis, the author or editor of five books, is professor of history, technology, and society at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her other books include Surviving the Swastika and Seduced by Secrets. She lives in Atlanta, GA.

other books by Kristie Macrakis

Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World
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see all books by Kristie Macrakis
Format:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.06 inPublished:March 25, 2014Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300179251

ISBN - 13:9780300179255

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Editorial Reviews

'A beguilingly informative and sweeping survey of hidden communication.'—Nigel Jones, The Spectator