[Cryptography] Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
jya at pipeline.com
Sat Nov 11 12:24:47 EST 2017
The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
By Liza Mundy
Describes the experiences of several thousand
American women who spent the war years in
Washington, untangling the clandestine messages
sent by the Japanese and German militaries and
diplomatic corps. At a time when even
well-educated women were not encouraged to have
careers much less compete with men to
demonstrate their mastery of arcane, technical
skills this hiring frenzy represented a
dramatic shift. The same social experiment was
simultaneously unfolding on the other side of the
Atlantic. The British debutantes and their
middle-class peers recruited to work at the
secret Bletchley Park code-breaking operation came to outnumber the men.
Mundys narrative turns thrilling as she
chronicles the eureka moments when the women
succeed in cracking codes, relying on a mixture
of mathematical expertise, memorization and occasional leaps of intuition. ...
At the end of the war, virtually all of the
female code breakers were given their walking
papers and returned to civilian life. Only a few
superstars were asked to stay on (among them Ann
Caracristi, who went on to become the first
female deputy director of the National Security Agency).
For these accomplished and resourceful women, who
had been given a heady taste of professional
success, it was jarring to have to fight to be
accepted to top graduate programs on the G.I.
Bill or embark on traditional paths as wives and
mothers. Warned not to reveal their secret
wartime lives, many remained silent about their
valuable service. Thanks to Mundys book, which
deftly conveys both the puzzle-solving
complexities and the emotion and drama of this era, their stories will live on.
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