Secret History : The Story of Cryptology book cover
1st Edition

Secret History
The Story of Cryptology

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 10, 2021
ISBN 9781138061231
February 10, 2021 Forthcoming by Chapman and Hall/CRC
640 Pages 250 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The first edition of this award-winning book attracted a wide audience. Secret History is both a joy to read and a useful classroom tool. Unlike traditional textbooks, it requires no mathematical prerequisites and can be read around the mathematics presented. If used as a textbook, the mathematics can be prioritized, with a book both students and instructors will enjoy reading.

This new edition incorporates new material concerning various eras in the long history of cryptology. Much has happened concerning political aspects of cryptology since the first edition appeared. The still unfolding story is updated here.

The first edition of this book contained chapters devoted to how German and Japanese systems from World War II were cracked. Now the other side of this cipher war is also told – how the United States was able to come up with systems that were never broken.

The presentation is in two parts. Part 1 presents classic cryptology from ancient times through World War II. Part 2 examines modern computer cryptology. With numerous real-world examples and extensive references, the author skillfully balances the history with mathematical details, providing readers with a sound foundation in this dynamic field.


  • Presents a chronological development of key concepts
  • Part 1 includes the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, transposition ciphers, Jefferson’s cipher wheel, Playfair cipher, ADFGX, matrix encryption, Enigma, Purple, and other classic methods.
  • Part 2 looks at the work of Claude Shannon, the origin of the NSA, elliptic curve cryptography, the Data Encryption Standard, the Advanced Encryption Standard, public-key cryptography and many other topics.
  • New chapters detail SIGABA and SIGSALY, successful systems used in WW II for text and speech, respectively.
  • A final chapter includes quantum cryptography and the impact of quantum computers

Table of Contents

CLASSICAL CRYPTOLOGY: Ancient Roots;, Monalphabetic Substitution Ciphers, or MASCs: Disguises for Messages; Simple Progression to an Unbreakable Cipher; Transposition Ciphers; Shakespeare, Jefferson, and JFK; World War I and Herbert O. Yardley; Matrix Encryption; World War II: The Enigma of Germany; Cryptologic War against Japan; MODERN CRYPTOLOGY: Claude Shannon; National Security Agency; Data Encryption Standard; Birth of Public Key Cryptography; Attacking RSA; Primality Testing and Complexity Theory; Authenticity; Pretty Good Privacy; Stream Ciphers; Suite B All-Stars; Possible Futures; Index

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Craig P. Bauer is an associate professor of mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief of Cryptologia. He was the 2011-2012 Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency (NSA) Center for Cryptologic History, where he wrote several papers for NSA journals, gave a large number of lectures, and made substantial progress on a second book focused on unsolved codes and ciphers. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from North Carolina State University.