The Woman Who Smashed Codes: America’s Secret Weapon in World War Two a book by Jason Fagone
“No code is ever completely solved, you know.”
It’s quite a time to be reading The Woman Who Smashed Codes. Subtitled The True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies, Jason Fagone’s book delivers on that promise, bringing one woman’s deliberately erased accomplishments back into the limelight. But it also resounds with warning bells that should sound farther away than they prove today.
…By the time Elizebeth and future husband William Friedman are decoding messages for the government at the start of World War I, her life seems almost incredible. And that’s before Fagone gets to the ciphers themselves.
Government outsiders called them magic, and though Fagone dutifully details cryptology concepts and ciphers, you’d be forgiven for suspecting something supernatural in the Friedmans’ abilities. Starting out side-by-side on a tycoon’s landscaped estate, they became the founders of modern codebreaking.