Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Secrets will out": Review of Battle of Wits: The Complete Story ofCodebreaking in World War II, by Stephen Budiansky. Reviewed by SimonSingh. Nature, 2 November 2000.

The book under review describes the development of cryptography in the 20thcentury, specifically focusing on its use during World War II. The story ofEngland's famed Bletchley Park, which housed code-breakers who turned the tideof the war, has appeared in many books. This book too recounts that story, butalso tells the much less known tale of U.S. code-breakers in Washington, DC,who had a large impact on the war in the Pacific. "The story of cryptographyin the Second World War is one of the great scientific tales of the twentiethcentury," the review states. "Budiansky has succeeded in telling it withenthusiasm and insight, delivering a book with style and substance."

--- Allyn Jackson