Alan Turing: The Enigma - Centenary Edition

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Princeton University Press, May 27, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 616 pages

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This classic biography of the founder of computer science, reissued on the centenary of his birth with a substantial new preface by the author, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. A gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution, Andrew Hodges's acclaimed book captures both the inner and outer drama of Turing's life.

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, this is the 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.

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User Review  - neddludd - LibraryThing

This was possibly the most difficult biography I have ever read. Although it says it was written with lay people in mind, the author is a mathematical physicist at Oxford and probably has a different ... Read full review

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User Review  - qebo - LibraryThing

How much do you want to know about Alan Turing? This 675 page biography covers his personal and intellectual life in exhaustive detail. I read it because I’d seen The Imitation Game and was curious ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Andrew Hodges teaches mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford. A colleague of Roger Penrose, he is also an active contributor to the mathematics of fundamental physics.

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