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Publisher Description


The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times–bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936--the concept of a universal machine--laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program--all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.

The inspiration for a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution.

Biographies & Memoirs
November 10
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press

Customer Reviews

Adalayne ,

Alan Turing the enigma

For those who are savvy in math and engineering
You could stay interested for the whole story
As for myself I was looking for more of a story around breaking the code of the enigma machine during ww2. This really is the story of how the computer came into being, and Allen Turing place in it. In today's world he would have been rich and famous and the founder of Microsoft

nettalk ,


Though the movie isn't anything close to reality it gives a glimpse into the life of Alan Turing. Hodges is exhaustive in his exploration of Alan and the times before, during and after WWII leading to the development of the first digital computer. At times, there is more exploration of who Alan Turing was and it helps to understand his challenges in business not just his lifestyle. Few would understand the politics and global issues of building what was never done before.

cltwildflower ,

Very poor writing

Goes into way too much detail for me regarding math and the intricacies of code-breaking and building a computer. He also refers to many obscure events and books without explanation. A sure sign that his aim is more to impress than elucidate, he quotes in other languages without translation. Very poorly written.

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