The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story Of Love, Spies, And The Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason FagoneThe Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story Of Love, Spies, And The Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story Of Love, Spies, And The Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted…

byJason Fagone

Hardcover | September 26, 2017

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

NPR Best Book of 2017

“Not all superheroes wear capes, and Elizebeth Smith Friedman should be the subject of a future Wonder Woman movie.” — The New York Times

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 II.

In 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 told.

In 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, Elizebeth 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.

Jason Fagone is a journalist who covers science, sports, and culture. Named one of the “Ten young Writers on the Rise” by the Columbia Journalism Review, he is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post Highline, and writes for a number of outlets, including GQ, Esquire, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Mother Jones, and Philadelphi...
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Title:The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story Of Love, Spies, And The Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted…Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.41 inPublished:September 26, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062430483

ISBN - 13:9780062430489

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Overall, a fascinating read! Before you start reading this book, make sure you have enough time to sit down and really enjoy it, as you might just go through it in a couple sittings. The author does a fantastic job of taking you through some of the most memorable moments of the first half of the twentieth century and the woman who impacted almost every part of it. The story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman is absolutely phenomenal. While the author tends to go into too much detail at times, it is well worth the read.
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Read The Woman Who Smashed Codes is a very well written, extensively researched, biography of Elizebeth Smith - a woman who, like the best secret code, was an American spy hidden in plain sight. A real life wonder woman with a genius for uncovering the real message behind the encrypted communications of military regimes and criminals.
Date published: 2018-02-01

Editorial Reviews

“In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone rights a historical wrong, unshrouding an unsung heroine and revealing the love story at the root of the modern world’s spy games. But this book’s true revelation is the author’s talent: sure-handed, thrilling, and lyrical.”