The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail

The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail

Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
One of the most colourful and controversial figures in American intelligence, Herbert O. Yardley (1889-1958) gave America its best form of information, but his fame rests more on his indiscretions than on his achievements. In this highly readable biography, a premier historian of military intelligence tells Yardley's story and evaluates his impact on the American intelligence community. Yardley established the nation's first codebreaking agency in 1917, and his solutions helped the United States win a major diplomatic victory at the 1921 disarmament conference. But when his unit was closed in 1929 because gentlemen do not read each other's mail, Yardley wrote a best-selling memoir that introduced - and disclosed - codemaking and codebreaking to the public. David Kahn describes the vicissitudes of Yardley's career, including his work in China and Canada, offers a capsule history of American intelligence up to World War I, and gives a short course in classical codes and ciphers. He debunks the accusations that the publication of Yardley's book caused Japan to change its codes and ciphers and that Yardley traitorously sold his solutions to Japan. And he asserts that Yardley's disclo
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [2004]
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9780300098464
Branch Call Number: 940.48673 Y21K 2004
Characteristics: xxi, 318 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top