The Secret Lives of Codebreakers

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers

The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452298712
  • 352 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult



Go behind the scenes of the top-secret setting of The Imitation Game

A remarkable look at day-to-day life of the codebreakers whose clandestine efforts helped win World War II

Bletchley Park looked like any other sprawling country estate. In reality, however, it was the top-secret headquarters of Britain’s Government Code and Cypher School—and the site where Germany’s legendary Enigma code was finally cracked. There, the nation’s most brilliant mathematical minds—including Alan Turing, whose discoveries at Bletchley would fuel the birth of modern computing—toiled alongside debutantes, factory workers, and students on projects of international importance. Until now, little has been revealed about ordinary life at this extraordinary facility. Drawing on remarkable first-hand interviews, The Secret Lives of Codebreakers reveals the entertainments, pastimes, and furtive romances that helped ease the incredible pressures faced by these covert operatives as they worked to turn the tide of World War II.


“An eloquent tribute to a quite remarkable group of men and women, whose like we will not see again.”—Mail On Sunday

“Five stars.”—Sunday Telegraph

“A stunning plunge into the social and political complexities surrounding the men and women who broke the Enigma code. A gripping read.”—Chester Nez and Judith Schiess Avila, authors of Code Talker

“Re-create[s] the unique atmosphere of this extraordinary place… remarkable.”—Daily Telegraph (London)
“A portrait of one of the most remarkable brain factories the world has ever seen.”—Max Hastings, author of The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas, 1939–45
“This very readable and competent book captures well the extraordinary atmosphere of eccentrics working hard together in almost complete secrecy.”—The Guardian
“Amazingly, this is the first oral history of life at the Buckinghamshire country house.”—Oldie
“A fitting tribute to a very British kind of genius.”—Waterstones Books Quarterly
“An interesting and amusing book.”—Britain at War