Code Girls

Code Girls

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

Book - 2017
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This book reveals for the first time the courageous efforts of the remarkable young women recruited by the U.S. government during World War II to crack German and Japanese military codes, showing how they helped secure an Allied victory before their vow of secrecy nearly erased their vital contributions from U.S. history.
Publisher: New York, New York : Hachette Books, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780316352536
Characteristics: xiv, 416 pages, 9 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.

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r
rogeraeschliman
Jul 03, 2019

Wonderful bit of history recommended for WWII buffs, women's history buffs and espionage/spy buffs. Nice crossover that tells a couple of stories and shares some of once top secret, insider knowledge of how code breakers in general, and these young women specifically, helped win the war.

d
dixiedog
Jun 23, 2019

Code Girls – ‘The Untold Story of American Women Code Breakers of WWII’ was without a doubt obviously thoroughly researched and it does recognize the way women were undervalued within society before WWII. It is preposterous how women were discriminated against before the war, e.g., they should not take a man’s job; they were with very few exceptions, not allowed admission into America’s top universities; they were expected to stay home and raise children after a family was started, and so much more. While I did enjoy reading this book as it was quite an eye opener, I did find this book to be painfully far too detailed. I do feel the author could have told this story in far fewer pages and still paid homage to what these women achieved.

This book does document and recognize the significant contribution that women made backfilling jobs on assembly lines, and other jobs vacated by men going overseas. The US Government prohibited women from active rolls in fighting. As code breakers they helped turn the tide of WWII in favour of the United States and its allies. They worked and lived in less than favourable conditions for salaries less than men in the same situation. Their collective sacrifices saved countless lives and helped to bring about the end of the war. The fight they endured to be recognized and to receive equal pay for equal work still goes on today to some extent.

This is a story that needed to be told and it certainly played its part in bringing about equality for women. Senior-Doctor-at-Bass-Fishing! D. A.

g
glotet
May 12, 2019

Please note that Code Girls is a heavy hard-cover book with very small print so may prove to be a challenge for some.

h
Havanacat
Jan 10, 2019

People. The story of the American version of Bletchley Park.

j
jmmReads
Jan 01, 2019

A fascinating story, intelligently and kindly told. Make no mistake, this is not fluff writing. Liza Mundy has a gift, being able to focus on the accomplishments of the women and reporting the conflicts they encountered without dwelling on the seamier or sensational side of the stories they told. She has managed to tell a cohesive and detailed story without succumbing to the temptation tell every detail that she had uncovered in her research. This is a treat in historical writing.

I highly recommend this book.

m
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.

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