The Secret Lives of Codebreakers

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay

From the beginning, the desperate need to break the Enigma codes was about more than simple tactical intelligence. It was about survival. – The Secret Lives of Codebreakers

I picked up this book after I saw The Imitation Game, hoping I would be able to learn more about Bletchley Park and Alan Turing. Although this isn’t the book the movie is based on, this is a more recent published book about the happenings at Bletchley Park.

McKay begins by telling the story of a few individual men and women who worked at Bletchley Park. They estimate by the end of the war, over 1,000 people were working there. By focusing on a few individuals and weaving their story throughout the book, he makes the story more personal and interesting. Turing is only mentioned by name a few times and McKay rarely focuses on him. I thought McKay would have said a little more about Turing. The story occasionally gets bogged down with all the history that McKay recounts and I felt it slowed the story telling down. Overall, it’s a really great read if you want to know more about the overall life at Bletchley Park and the Enigma Codes. I would give it a 3.5/5

Published: 2012; Pages:352

3 Purples Stars

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