A Life in Code

Pioneer Cryptanalyst Elizebeth Smith Friedman


In stock

About the Book

Protesters called it an act of war when the U.S. Coast Guard sank a Canadian-flagged vessel in the Gulf of Mexico in 1929. It took a cool-headed codebreaker solving a “trunk-full” of smugglers’ encrypted messages to get Uncle Sam out of the mess: Elizebeth Smith Friedman’s groundbreaking work helped prove the boat was owned by American gangsters. This book traces the career of a legendary U.S. law enforcement agent, from her work for the Allies during World War I through Prohibition, when she faced danger from mobsters while testifying in high profile trials. Friedman founded the cryptanalysis unit that provided evidence against American rum runners and Chinese drug smugglers. During World War II, her decryptions brought a Japanese spy to justice and her Coast Guard unit solved the Enigma ciphers of German spies. Friedman’s “all source intelligence” model is still used by law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies against 21st century threats.

About the Author(s)

G. Stuart Smith is a journalism professor at Hofstra University. As a television reporter and videographer he won awards for investigative and feature reporting as well as videography. He lives in Stanfordville, New York.

Bibliographic Details

G. Stuart Smith
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6918-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2816-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Prologue 4

1. The Imperious Patron 13

2. The World War I Transformation 23

3. The Prohibition Years 35

4. Saving Face for Uncle Sam 52

5. A High Profile 69

6. Living with Flair and Cheating Death 85

7. A Rocky Start to the War 102

8. “The spy stuff!” 120

9. The Doll Woman 143

10. Postwar Career and Elizebeth Friedman’s Legacy 160

Chapter Notes 183

Bibliography 210

Index 227

Ebook Availability