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Alan Turing: The Enigma:
The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game
Andrew Hodges
With a foreword by Douglas Hofstadter and a new preface by the author

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"A superb biography. . . . Written by a mathematician, it describes in plain language Turing's work on the foundations of computer science and how he broke the Germans' Enigma code in the Second World War. The subtle depiction of class rivalries, personal relationships, and Turing's tragic end are worthy of a novel. But this was a real person. Hodges describes the man, and the science that fascinated him--which once saved, and still influences, our lives."--Margaret Boden, New Scientist

"Andrew Hodges's magisterial Alan Turing: The Enigma . . . is still the definitive text."--Joshua Cohen, Harper's

"Andrew Hodges's biography is a meticulously researched and written account detailing every aspect of Turing's life. . . . This account of Turing's life is a definitive scholarly work, rich in primary source documentation and small-grained historical detail."--Mathematics Teacher

"Tells a powerful story that combines professional success and personal tragedy."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post

"[A] really excellent biography. . . . The great thing about this book is that the author is a mathematician and can explain the details of Turing's work--as a scientist, mathematician, and a code breaker--in a way that is easy to understand. He is also wonderful at the emotional nuance of Alan's life, who was a somewhat odd--a student was assigned to him in school to help him maintain a semblance of tidiness in his appearance, rooms and school work and at Bletchley Park he was known for chaining his tea mug to a pipe--but he was also charming and intelligent and Hodges brings all the aspects of his personality and life into sharp focus."--Off the Shelf

"This book is an incredibly detailed and meticulously researched biography of Alan Turing. Reading it is a melancholy experience, since you know from the outset that the ending is a tragic one and that knowledge overshadows you throughout. While the author divides the text into two parts, it actually reads like a play in four acts. . . . This book is Turing's memorial, and one that does justice to the subject."--Katherine Safford-Ramus, MAA Reviews

"The new paperback edition of the 1983 book that inspired the film, with an updated introduction by Oxford mathematics professor Andrew Hodges, is an exhilarating, compassionate and detailed biography of a complicated man."--Jane Ciabattari, BBC

"If [The Imitation Game] does nothing else but send you, as it did me, to Alan Hodges's Alan Turing: The Enigma (1983, newly prefaced in the 2014 Princeton University Press edition) it more than justifies its existence. A great read, Hodges's intellectual biography depicts Turing as a brilliant mathematician; a crucial pioneering figure in the theorization and engineering of digital computing; and the biggest brain in Bletchley Park's Hut #8."--Amy Taubin, Artforum

"It is indeed the ultimate biography of Alan Turing. It will bring you as close as possible to his enigmatic personality."--Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society

"A book whose time has finally come. I found it to be a page-turner in spite of the occasionally esoteric explanations of mathematical theories that reminded of why Brooklyn Technical High School was not the wisest choice for me."--Terrance, Paris Readers Circle

"Thanks to the movie The Imitation Game, Alan Turing has emerged from history's shadows, where his memory had languished for decades. For anyone whose interest in the pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, and logician was piqued by the film, the book that served as the film's source material, Andrew Hodges's exhaustive biography Alan Turing: The Enigma, has the answers."--Frank Caso, Simply Charly


"One of the finest scientific biographies I've ever read: authoritative, superbly researched, deeply sympathetic, and beautifully told."--Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind

"A captivating, compassionate portrait of a first-rate scientist who gave so much to a world that in the end cruelly rejected him. Perceptive and absorbing, Andrew Hodges's book is scientific biography at its best."--Paul Hoffman, author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

"A remarkable and admirable biography."--Simon Singh, author of The Code Book and Fermat's Enigma

"A first-rate presentation of the life of a first-rate scientific mind.... It is hard to imagine a more thoughtful and compassionate portrait of a human being."--from the Foreword by Douglas Hofstadter

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File created: 5/25/2017

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