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Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945


Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1942, Leo Marks left his father's famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went off to fight the war. He was twenty-two. Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, he became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe, including "the White Rabbit" and Violette Szabo. As a top codemaker, Marks had a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating and, until now, little-known aspects of the Second World War. andlt;BRandgt; Writing with the narrative flair and vivid characterization of his famous screenplays, Marks gives free rein to his keen sense of the absurd and his wry wit, resulting in a thrilling and poignant memoir that celebrates individual courage and endeavor, without losing sight of the human cost and horror of war.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Leo Marksandlt;/Bandgt; is renowned both as a cryptographer and as a screenwriter. His most famous work, andlt;Iandgt;Peeping Tom,andlt;/Iandgt; a terrifying psychological thriller, is a cult classic of 1960s cinema. His father, Benjamin Marks, was the founder and owner of the legendary London bookshop 84 Charing Cross Road.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

1 A Hard Man to Place

2 The Pilot Light

3 A Collector's Item

4 'Merde Alors!'

5 All Things Bright and Beautiful

6 The Fifth Grouse

7 SOE-minded

8 The Plumber and His Mate

9 The Godfather

10 The Sixth Sense

11 The High-Pitched Bleep

12 A Shock Discovery

13 The Biter Bitten

14 The Last-Chance Month

15 The Bolt Hole

16 A Question of Y

17 Arquebus, Gunnerside and Golf

18 The Coding Cabaret

19 Summit Meeting

20 The Findings of the Court

21 Repercussions

22 The Launching of Plan Giskes

23 Special Devices

24 Judgement Day

25 Permission to Proceed?

26 Court Martial

27 Criminal Negligence

28 Green Ink

29 Best Read at Night

30 The War Dance

31 Accidents Will Happen

32 Pilgrim's Progress

33 The 'Hard Men'

34 Judicial Review

35 The Masterstroke

36 Desperate Measures

37 Punitive Expedition

38 The Secret Weapon

39 Appointment with Royalty

40 The Extended Briefing

41 Operation Gift-horse

42 A Terrible Gaffe

43 Operation Sidetrack

44 Beyond Belief

45 Parallel Action

46 The Club Rules

47 Lake Como's Bottom

48 'I Hereby Bequeath'

49 A Treat for the Natives

50 Homecoming

51 Stranglehold

52 Man with a Mission

53 Breaking Point

54 Who Stole Your Grace?

55 The Forty-Eight Mistakes

56 Unique in SOE

57 The Major Development

58 'If I Should Die, Etcetera'

59 The Invisible Presence

60 Fumigated

61 A Mere Squadron Leader

62 Without Precedent

63 Open Arrest

64 Misgivings

65 'The Life that I Have'

66 April Fool's Day

67 The New Boys

68 Inexcusable

69 For Your Ears Only

70 Neptune's Trident

71 Staying Power

72 'They Also Serve'

73 Self-Defence

74 Taken for Granted

75 The Day of Reckoning

76 Pockets of Resistance

77 Operation Periwig

78 Serial Number 47685

79 For Services Rendered

80 Exemplary Conduct

81 The Last Mischief




What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Roy Hamilton, January 11, 2011 (view all comments by Roy Hamilton)
A wonderfully well-written and sometimes quite funny book about the vital challenges of keeping information secret from the enemy in World War II. While there are a lot of books about breaking codes, this is a rare one about the challenges of keeping them from being broken.
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Product Details

Marks, Leo
Free Press
New York, NY
Military - World War II
World war, 1939-1945
Secret service
World War, 19
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
3. Beiheft 1965
Publication Date:
September 2000
Grade Level:
8 page b/w photo insert
9.25 x 6.12 in 32.55 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » Espionage
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 New Trade Paper
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Product details 624 pages Free Press - English 9780684867809 Reviews:
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