The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages, An Illustrated Guide to Signs, Symbols, Ciphers, and Secret Languages
The art of the code—code making and code breaking—remains shrouded in mystery and seems locked away in the murky realms of military intelligence, spies, and secret services. Yet codes affect virtually every area of our lives, providing security, protecting identity, and enabling us to connect via the Internet across global boundaries. This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia surveys the history and development of code making and code breaking in all areas of culture and society-from hieroglyphs and runes to DNA, the Zodiac Killer, The Da Vinci Code, graffiti, and beyond. Beginning with the first codes, including those found in the natural world and among ancient peoples, the book casts a wide net, exploring secret societies, codes of war, codes of the underworld, commerce, human behavior, and civilization itself. Editor Paul Lunde and an extraordinary group of specialists have compiled the most comprehensive and complete collection of codes available. Visually stunning and packed with fascinating details, The Book of Codes tells the complete story of codes at a time when they have become fundamentally important to our lives.
An Amazing and Rewarding Book
By E. Schell - November 21, 2009
This is an absolutely stunning book, not only lavishly illustrated but superbly designed with an engaging layout, thousands of photos, drawings, and illustrations, and a crisp, readable, entertaining (yet scholarly) text that ranges from introductory paragraphs and pithy labels to informed and informative sidebars.
I have to say right up front that at the Amazon price of $16.17, this book is an outrageous steal! It has coffee-table heft, is printed on heavy matte stock with rich inks, and sports a sewn-signature binding with cloth header strips with red and black stripes that match the book's cover colors. The hardbound cover matches the dust jacket, and the endpapers are an intriqsing amalgam of many of the symbols in the book.
This book is about so much more than "codes" or cryptography, although these subjects, of course, are very amply addressed. The book's thirteen chapters cover:
The First Codes Sects, Symbols, and Secret Societies... read more
UIF CPPL PG DPEFT
By R. Hardy "Rob Hardy" - December 30, 2009
When I picked up _The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages_ (University of California Press), edited by Paul Lunde, I thought I would be getting an explanation of different forms of cryptography, and perhaps the importance of secret messages in warfare, commerce, and diplomacy. I got all that, but the book takes off on the many meanings of the word "code." I hadn't thought about this before, but in his introduction, Lunde points out that "code" certainly can mean secret means of communication. It can also, in an almost opposite meaning, refer to an open and widely accepted means of communication, like a code of conduct or a dress code. There are other codes that used to be hidden to us until we used science to understand them, like the genetic code. Languages and writing systems meant for open communication are codes, but dead languages are particular cryptographic problems. Maps and signs are pictorial codes. There are plenty of other types of codes, and... read more
The Book of Codes, Symbols, Pictures, Trivia, Errors
By Charles Bradley - July 6, 2010
"The Book of Codes" is a well made book, but the content is not worth the effort that went into presenting it. The problems start on the cover. What appears to be the subtitle is "Understanding the World of Hidden Messages". Most of the material in the book is about symbols, and most of that is about symbols that are intended to be seen and to be understood. The sub-subtitle is "An Illustrated Guide to Signs, Symbols, Ciphers, and Secret Languages". We have page after page of topics such as cave paintings, the stone age version of "Kilroy was here.", stop signs from different countries, crop circles, and the history of computer memory technology. Much of the material applies to codes as symbolism, so we get examples from painting, literature, any many religions. Much of the material applies to codes as organized bodies of rules so we get informed about the Napoleonic Code, and building codes. Even mathematics is a code. The... read more
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