Buildings are closed. Curbside Pickup is available. Click here for our interim services.

The woman who smashed codes: a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Description

National Bestseller

NPR Best Book of the Year

"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.

Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780062430489
9780062675583
9780062430502
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDf5c9d96c-a124-c963-c7b5-4fe8aa5973ff
Grouping Titlewoman who smashed codes a true story of love spies and the unlikely heroine who outwitted americas enemies
Grouping Authorjason fagone
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-12-03 00:02:01AM
Last Indexed2020-12-02 04:19:32AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value0
accelerated_reader_reading_level0
auth_author2Campbell, Cassandra,
authorFagone, Jason.
author2-roleCampbell, Cassandra,narrator.
hoopla digital.
author_displayFagone, Jason
available_at_santafeOliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
detailed_location_santafeLa Farge
Main
Online Hoopla Collection
Online OverDrive Collection
Southside
display_descriptionTraces the life of Elizebeth Smith, who met and married groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman and worked with him to discover and expose Nazi spy rings in South America by cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine. "In 1916, a young Quaker schoolteacher and poetry scholar named Elizebeth Smith was hired by an eccentric tycoon to find the secret messages he believed were embedded in Shakespeare's plays. She moved to the tycoon's lavish estate outside of Chicago expecting to spend her days poring through old books. But the rich man's close ties to the U.S. government, and the urgencies of war, quickly transformed Elizebeth's mission. She soon learned to apply her skills to an exciting new venture: codebreaking--the solving of secret messages without knowledge of the key. Working alongside her on the estate was William Friedman, a Jewish scientist who would become her husband and lifelong codebreaking partner. Elizebeth and William were in many ways the Adam and Eve of the National Security Agency, the U.S. institution that monitors and intercepts foreign communications to glean intelligence. In [this book, journalist] Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman who played an integral role in our nation's history -- from the Great War to the Cold War. He traces Elizebeth's developing career through World War I, Prohibition, and the struggle against fascism. She helped catch gangsters and smugglers, exposed a Nazi spy ring in South America, and fought a clandestine battle of wits against Hitler's Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German operatives to conceal their communications. And through it all, she served as muse to her husband, a master of puzzles, who astonished friends and foes alike. Inside an army vault in Washington, he worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma--and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life. Fagone unveils for the first time America's codebreaking history through the prism of one remarkable woman's life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that shaped the modern intelligence community. Rich in detail, The Woman Who Smashed Codes pays tribute to an unsung hero whose story belongs alongside those of other great female technologists, like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, and whose oft-hidden contributions altered the course of the century."--Jacket.
format_category_santafeBooks
eBook
format_santafeBook
eBook
idf5c9d96c-a124-c963-c7b5-4fe8aa5973ff
isbn9780062430489
9780062430502
9780062675583
item_details
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
ils:.b14939769.i19991381La FargeBIO FRIEDMAN, E1falsefalse*CHECK SHELF*lf
ils:.b14939769.i19958225SouthsideBIO FRIEDMAN, E1falsefalseDue Dec 29, 2020co
ils:.b14939769.i1999137xMainBIO FRIEDMAN, E1falsefalseDue Dec 2, 2020mn
overdrive:e2e65fee-cbd9-4009-8b77-2ddec40185e4-1Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeBookeBook1falsetrueOverDriveAdobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive ReadAvailable Online
hoopla:MWT11895318Online Hoopla CollectionOnline HooplaeAudiobookAudio Books1falsetruehooplahttps://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11895318?utm_source=MARCAvailable Online
hoopla:MWT12457772Online Hoopla CollectionOnline HooplaeBookeBook1falsetruehooplahttps://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12457772?utm_source=MARCAvailable Online
itype_santafeRegular Circ
last_indexed2020-12-02T11:19:32.588Z
lexile_score-1
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_santafeBIO FRIEDMAN, E
owning_library_santafeSanta Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafeMain Library (Curbside Pickup)
Oliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
Southside (Curbside Pickup)
primary_isbn9780062430489
publishDate2017
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b14939769BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishDey St., an imprint of William Morrow, [2017].xvi, 444 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
overdrive:e2e65fee-cbd9-4009-8b77-2ddec40185e4eBookeBookEnglishDey Street Books2017
hoopla:MWT11895318eAudiobookAudio BooksUnabridged.EnglishHarperAudio, 2017.1 online resource (1 audio file (13hr., 37 min.)) : digital.
hoopla:MWT12457772eBookeBookEnglishHarperCollins Publishers, 2017.1 online resource
recordtypegrouped_work
scoping_details_santafe
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b14939769.i19991381On Shelf*CHECK SHELF*falsetruetruefalsefalsetrue9999
ils:.b14939769.i19958225Checked OutChecked Outfalsefalsetruefalsefalsetrue9999
ils:.b14939769.i1999137xChecked OutChecked Outfalsefalsetruefalsefalsetrue9999
overdrive:e2e65fee-cbd9-4009-8b77-2ddec40185e4-1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse
hoopla:MWT12457772Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruefalsefalsefalsefalse
subject_facetBiographies
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Cryptographers -- United States -- Biography
Cryptography -- United States -- History
Electronic books
Friedman, Elizebeth, -- 1892-1980
Friedman, William F. -- (William Frederick), -- 1891-1969
History / Modern / 20th Century
History / Social History
Political Science / Intelligence & Espionage
title_displayThe woman who smashed codes : a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies
title_fullThe 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 / Jason Fagone
The woman who smashed codes : a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies [electronic resource] / Jason Fagone
title_shortThe woman who smashed codes
title_suba true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies
topic_facetBiography & Autobiography
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Cryptographers
Cryptography
Electronic books
Friedman, Elizebeth
Friedman, William F
History
History / Modern / 20th Century
History / Social History
Nonfiction
Political Science / Intelligence & Espionage
Politics