Code Girls

Code Girls

The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Large Print - 2017
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Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
Publisher: New York :, Hachette Books,, [2017]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780316439893
0316439894
Characteristics: xiv, 620 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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mcfaddenp1
Dec 05, 2018

My Mother, Velma Merrill McFadden was a Hillsboro High, Oregon graduate of 1928, although College would come at a later date, her ability as a trained professional musician and retail music store "musicologist" was a talent that she would soon be shocked to learn in 1943 was of imminent valuable assistance to the war effort against the AXIS.
Not having read the new title, I hope there is mention of a small college in East Providence , Rhode Island where she received initial training in " Crypto".
In early 1997, shortly before her passing, we were watching a NOVA special on code breaking during WW2. She raised her arm with difficulty, and pointed to an image on the screen stating:

"...there is Mr. so and so, he was two offices down in our Division.
Taken aback, I questioned her about why she had "gone east" during WW2, as no family or work was there, as far as her family thought. She stated, "...we were told that as long as we lived, if we ever spoke about what we did there, we could be hung...man or woman".
Since her former boss was now being featured on this NOVA special documentary, I asked if now she would tell us what she did there in "Crypto". She refused, and although 86 and near death, kept the oath she swore to never divulge her work there.

This is a good example of "The Greatest Generation", they took their oaths seriously.

t
Traffic7
Sep 11, 2018

I truly enjoyed this book, was extremely interesting. I also appreciated the author included in the sociological facts of the time period. The fact these extremely intelligent women kept this quiet all of these years just dispels the stereotype of gabby women. My mother was in her early twenties during this time and working at this time. She spoke a little about what life was like but after we both read this book, we had had some very in depth and heart to heart conversations.

b
bisqit
May 07, 2018

Very interesting story of an ignored contribution by women during W W II. It shows the attitudes toward women of the time. It made me admire my mother more since she was of that era.

m
mammothhawk229e
Apr 15, 2018

US Navy recruits from university. Army forced to recruit teachers after Navy whined.
Highlighted office politics, living conditions & the influence on the war.
Totally surprised on Tony Randall's cameo.
The sad thing was that new generation of women had to fight the same old battles for workplace acceptance within the intelligence community in the 1980s & 1990s as most of the wartime female recruits got let go, got married & raised a family after the war.

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 06, 2018

A wonderfully researched documentation of the under-recognized story of the significant contribution of American women to the resolution of W.W. II. Numerous narratives of workplace misogyny detailed in dress code, housing, military code etc. of the 1940's persist.

b
barkisaz
Jan 30, 2018

The cracking of Enigma is a story that keeps on giving.
This one looks at a few of the 10,000 women who were recruited as codebreakers in the U.S.
I liked the technical explications and the bigger picture of the war effort.
Also finding about the personal details such as housing, office politics and their families adds a dimension to the story.
Very enjoyable and interesting reading.

p
patcarstensen
Dec 16, 2017

I'm not sure who was teaching the kids with all the demand for schoolteachers for math-heavy jobs during WWII.

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