Synopses & Reviews
Go behind the scenes of the top-secret setting of The Imitation Game
A remarkable look at day-to-day life of the codebreakers whose clandestine efforts helped win World War II
Bletchley Park looked like any other sprawling country estate. In reality, however, it was the top-secret headquarters of Britainand#8217;s Government Code and Cypher Schooland#151;and the site where Germanyand#8217;s legendary Enigma code was finally cracked. There, the nationand#8217;s most brilliant mathematical mindsand#151;including Alan Turing, whose discoveries at Bletchley would fuel the birth of modern computingand#151;toiled alongside debutantes, factory workers, and students on projects of international importance. Until now, little has been revealed about ordinary life at this extraordinary facility. Drawing on remarkable first-hand interviews, The Secret Lives of Codebreakers reveals the entertainments, pastimes, and furtive romances that helped ease the incredible pressures faced by these covert operatives as they worked to turn the tide of World War II.
"McKay introduces readers to the bustling world of Bletchley Park, a facility dedicated to decoding German intelligence during World War II. Bletchley, located 50 miles outside London, featured a mansion with a series of long 'huts' and a staff of nearly ten thousand of Britain's best and brightest decrypting around the clock. The work was so secretive workers were forbidden from discussing developments with anyone outside their own hut, much less the outside world. Here, mathematician Alan Turing, along with Gordon Welchman, created the 'bombe' machine that mechanized code breaking, and, later, The Colossus, a precursor to the modern computer. McKay shares both Bletchley's many war-time achievements including the sinkings of the Bismarck, Scharnhorst, and Tirpitz and controversies, like that concerning Churchill's awareness of an impending Luftwaffe air raids on industrial West Midlands cities. Bletchley was also a cultural and romantic melting pot where military and civilians mixed, social class was irrelevant and there were plays, dances, and musical performances; many people even met their future spouses there. McKay brings the Park and its inhabitants to life in this compelling history of Britain's best kept secret of World War II. (Sept)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.