Code Girls: A Book Review

In my misspent youth, I was a Cryptologic Technician in the United States Navy. We often laughed about running afoul of the “Little old-ladies in tennis shoes” at NSA. I suspect that some of those feared women were the heroes of this book by Liza Mundy, Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

The book is excellent. The stories of these women is told in a way that gives you not just a flavor of the times, but of the intense nature of their quest to break codes. The stress is palpable, and having done some of this kind of work, I fully get the torture they were feeling when things were not going well, codes remained unbroken, or personal tragedies were revealed to them in the course of their activities, and they couldn’t talk about it to anyone.

Heroes. Each of the people involved in that code-breaking effort was a hero. The turmoil that work causes in the life of the operator is unbelievable.

I don’t review books like most people. But what I will say is that this book is a joy to read, excellent choice of subject matter, and an inside look into the war’s greatest secret.

Now, why should you read it? There is a story here that will put an end to the revisionist history you have been subjected for the past 40 years. There are truths in the world, and one of them is that our enemies, and a few of our friends, during the war were evil. These women read the mail of the devil. They understood what could, and would, happen if they failed to do their jobs well. It is also a story of life in the shadows, as they were sworn to secrecy. It’s a tough thing to deal with that kind of stress, and it’s almost unbearable for some of us. Indeed, it’s a miracle that more of those code-breakers didn’t crack up.

One other reason I loved the book is Liza Mundy’s turn of phrase. She had me chuckling and smiling in appreciation of her wordsmith skills. Very gifted writer.

Finally, I’d like to honor a code girl that I know: My wife, and fellow Navy CTI2, Kip. I am so proud of you, and so glad that I met you. Better still that I conned you into marrying me.

Code Girls – read it.

********* ********** *********** ***********

 

Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Joseph Courtemanche

About Joseph Courtemanche

I'm a conservative Christian author who's been happily married for over 30 years. I am a Veteran of the United States Navy, Naval Security Group. I speak a few languages, I have an absurd sense of humor and I'm proud to be an American.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Code Girls: A Book Review

  1. Tim Moynihan says:

    Thank you for a fine blog, as usual. My wife, Sue, was an Army Intelligence Officer who commanded a company at Field Station Kunia — the Disney World of SIGINTers and Crypto-geeks. With wives like ours we can rule the world, brother!!!

Comments are closed.