Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

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The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" (New York Times) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" (Denver Post).

Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
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About the author

Liza Mundy is the New York Times bestselling author of The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family and Michelle: A Biography. She has worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and contributed to numerous publications including The Atlantic, TIME, The New Republic, Slate, Mother Jones, and The Guardian. She is a frequent commentator on countless prominent national television, radio, and online news outlets and has positioned herself at the prestigious New America Foundation as one of the nation's foremost experts on women and work issues.
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4.7
15 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette Books
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Published on
Oct 10, 2017
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780316352550
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / World War II
History / United States / 20th Century
History / Women
Political Science / Intelligence & Espionage
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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She can be funny and sharp-tongued, warm and blunt, empathic and demanding. Who is the woman Barack Obama calls "the boss"? In Michelle, Washington Post writer Liza Mundy paints a revealing and intimate portrait, taking us inside the marriage of the most dynamic couple in politics today. She shows how well they complement each other: Michelle, the highly organized, sometimes intimidating, list-making pragmatist; Barack, the introspective political charmer who won't pick up his socks but shoots for the stars. Their relationship, like those of many couples with two careers and two children, has been so strained at times that he has had to persuade her to support his climb up the political ladder. And you can't blame her for occasionally regretting it: In this campaign, it is Michelle who has absorbed much of the skepticism from voters about Obama. One conservative magazine put her on the cover under the headline "Mrs. Grievance."

Michelle's story carries with it all the extraordinary achievements and lingering pain of America in the post-civil rights era. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, the daughter of a city worker and a stay-at-home mom in a neighborhood rocked by white flight. She was admitted to Princeton amid an angry debate about affirmative action and went on to Harvard Law School, where she was more comfortable doing pro-bono work for the poor than gunning for awards with the rest of her peers. She became a corporate lawyer, then left to train community leaders. She is modern in her tastes but likes to watch reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch.

In this carefully reported biography, drawing upon interviews with more than one hundred people, including one with Michelle herself, Mundy captures the complexity of this remarkable woman and the remarkable life she has lived.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

NPR Best Book of 2017

“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.

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, this new book provides thought provoking commentary on the nature of the relationship between society, the prevailing economic system and professionalism in the built environment. It addresses the changing responsibilities of professionals and in particular their obligation to act in the wider public interest. It is both an introduction to and an examination of professionalism and professional bodies in the sector, including a view of the future of professionalism and the organisations serving it.

Simon Foxell outlines the history of professionalism in the sector, comparing and contrasting the development of the three major historic professions working in the construction industry: civil engineering, architecture and surveying. He examines how their systems have developed over time, up to the current period dominated by large professional services firms, and looks at some options for the future, whilst asking difficult questions about ethics, training, education, public trust and expectation from within and outside the industry.

The book concludes with a six-point plan to help, if not ensure, that the professions remain an effective and essential part of both society and the economy; a part that allows the system to operate smoothly and easily, but also fairly and to the benefit of all.

Essential reading for built environment professionals and students doing the professional studies elements of their training or in the process of applying for chartership or registration. The issues and lessons are applicable across all building professions.

A REVOLUTION IS UNDER WAY.

Within a generation, more households will be supported by women than by men. In The Richer Sex, Liza Mundy takes us to the exciting frontier of this new economic order: she shows us why this flip is inevitable, what surprising adjustments will have to be made along the way, and how both men and women will feel surprisingly liberated in the end.

The bestselling author and Washington Post writer goes deep inside the lives of the couples on this cutting edge to paint a picture of how dating, marriage, and home life are changing. How does this new generation of breadwomen navigate paying for a night on the town? In whose interest is it to delay commitment? Are men for the first time thinking of marriage the way women used to—as a bet on the economic potential of a spouse? In this new world of men marrying up, are women learning to value new realms of male endeavor—like parenting, protection, and a margarita at the ready?

The future is here, with couples today debating who must assume the responsibility of primary earner and who gets the freedom to be on the slow track. As more men choose to stay home, that lifestyle has gained a higher status, and males have found ways to retain their masculinity. And the revolution is global: Mundy takes us from Japan to Denmark to show how both sexes are adapting as the marriage market has turned into a giant free-for-all, with men and women at different stages of this transformation finding partners in other countries who match their expectations.

The Richer Sex is a wild ride into the future, grounded in Mundy’s peerless journalism, and bound to cause women and men of all generations to rethink what this social upheaval will mean.
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