Alan Turing: The Enigma The Centenary Edition

| June 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

The ideas of a British mathematician and scientist Alan Turing have shaped the computer science of today. And it’s not an exaggeration, as back in 1936 when Turing was only 24 years old, he laid the foundations for the computer and in turn for the computer science. But Alan Turing is an even more interesting personality – he was a major figure during the Second World War among the codebreaker that worked for the Allies. But these are only a few of the great achievements by one of the most influential mathematicians. All of this and much more is discussed in a great book about Alan Turing called “Alan Turing: The Enigma”.


Basic Info

  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Centennial edition (May 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069115564X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691155647
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


About the Author

Andrew Hodges (born in London, 1949) is a mathematician and an author of works that popularize science and mathematics. His other books include: “The Deeper Intelligence” (2004) and The Great Philosophers: Turing (2011). The foreword for “The Enigma” is written by Douglas Richard Hofstadter, who is an American academic with a research focus on consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation and literary translation.


About the Book

In the book 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, the biography looks at the personality of  Turing from another angle: it’s a tragic story 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. It is often said that the real-life dramas are far more interesting than fiction and this is indeed the case as Turing’s life is truly interesting.

Also it is worth to mention that this is a brand new Centenary edition, which is released to honour the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Turing (in 23 June to be precise). So it’s a great time to read this book if you haven’t done already. It is highly recommended, especially for the readers with an interest in biographies and mathematics in general.


  1. More books by Andrew Hodges
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Category: Math Books

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