Experiment with cryptography — the science of secret writing. Cipher and decipher codes: transposition and polyalphabetical ciphers, famous codes, typewriter and telephone codes, codes that use playing cards, knots, and swizzle sticks...even invisible writing and sending messages through outer space. Hours of intrigue and challenge. 45 diagrams.
Cryptography, the writing and deciphering of messages on secret code, and other forms of secret writing have always played, and still play today, vital roles in the history of every nation. It is necessary in this crazy wold of ours for goverments and spies to send special information in secret ciphers. It is just as necessary for every major nation to have a staff of expert cryptanalysts who work day and night, with electronic computers at their elbows, to crack the codes user by other counties. The history of cryptanalysis (so marvelously told by David Kahn in his comprehensive book The Codebreakers) is a fascinating one, filled with dramatic incidents in which the fates of empires and political leaders hinged on the success or failure of a small group of specialists in this ancient, curious kind of puzzle solving.