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Code Girls Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

Recruited by the US Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than 10,000 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 codebreaking. 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, best-selling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Liza Mundy (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Code Girls reveals a hidden army of female cryptographers, whose work played a crucial role in ending World War II.... Mundy has rescued a piece of forgotten history, and given these American heroes the recognition they deserve." (Nathalia Holt, best-selling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls)

"Similar to Nathalia Holt's The Rise of the Rocket Girls and Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, this is indispensable and fascinating history. Highly recommended for all readers." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (6 )
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  •  
    Jeanne B. 10-19-17
    Jeanne B. 10-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Listen to the Afterword FIRST!"

    An important subject, which needs more exposure.

    I wish the author had concentrated on a few main subjects and woven the other women's stories into a more cohesive framework. 

    There are literally dozens of women mentioned by name. I found it confusing to try to remember who was who and who did what. Had I been reading instead of listening, I am sure I would be flipping back and forth between chapters often.

    The author pretty much wrote in chronological order, which was probably a mistake. Just because a book is nonfiction doesn't mean it has to be told day-by-day. The remarkable lives of these women would have been better remembered if their stories had been presented in chapters for each main subject, and a chapter devoted to the lesser subjects, or if the book had a format divided by time periods and main topics, such as, "Early Days at Arlington," "Navy versus Army Service," and so on.

    The book would have been much better if the author had used an editor early on.

    Even so, there is a wealth of information, and the stories of these women's lives are remarkable. Too bad the round robin letters are mentioned only as an afterthought. Putting this information in a forward or first chapter would have made the reader eager to read on and discover the lives of each letter writer. It is one of the most intriguing parts of the story.

    As to the narrator, I appreciated her clear voice. However, I found her intonation somewhat irritating and better suited to a cozy mystery or other light-hearted fare. She was a bit too cheery.

    Altogether, worth a listen. Then read or listen to other books about women pioneers.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roobah Fox 10-11-17
    Roobah Fox 10-11-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just released, about 80% through this story"

    Side note that prompted me to write this review: How can anyone give this straight across 1's on a the same-day release for a book this long?

    Erin Bennett as the narrator is amazingly good, an excellent reader with no quirks at all. The of this story just flows. I would gladly listen to any story she narrates. (I'm about 10 hours into this story and, while I'd keep listening to it as I have all day long, I'm going to savor the final chapters by waiting until tomorrow to finish it up.)

    Follows the lives of a handful of young adult Code Girls, female crypto-analysts living in the DC/VA area (Arlington Farms boarding house for women) just before and during WWII. Story explains how they grew up, how they ended up working in the highest top secret vaults in DC. In story fashion, follows their recruitment, hiring, training, and what their daily lives are like. Friendships develop, 10's of 1000s of women in these government work roles 'invade' DC as government employees. Although many women filled many government office jobs in more traditional roles or as Congressional staffers and aides, this story is about the top secret Code Girls and their dedication to the War effort working as crypto-analysts.

    Couldn't give this a straight across 5's because a little bit of disconnected story line trying to keep track of where the some of the crypto girls are working, who they are working for; some disconnect in tying together how all the cogs of different government and military agencies handled sometimes the same kind of work. But the main theme of the day to day life of the very important work these women did shines through and makes this a great story about a small, but important segment these women played regarding the ultimate outcome of US WWII History. A bit of disconnection in trying to piece in the older history of the women in computing and cryptography work roles prior to this era. Those who aren't into complex analysis and code-breaking might not find this part of the story fitting very well with the day to day perils of regular life of these girls when they are away from work. A bit of disconnection in the story explaining cryptography and how difficult it is -- I enjoyed it, but I'm kind of geeky like that. Adding some regular dates and chapter titles that distinguish the reference between the different girls' stories and the side-history and historical context that brought these women to their jobs would have made this story a cleaner, more straight-forward story. An included pdf extra attachment with the photos of the girls and captions helps piece together this somewhat disjointed story of the story of several of the girls, but primarily the telling of the stories of the friendship of Dot and Ruth (nicknamed 'Crow').

    A great listen for anyone interested in women working in crypto-analysis; what it must have been like being very smart, college-educated, but still a bit naive jumping into the DC/VA big-city, top-secret world of being a US government code breaker (of Japanese, German, and every other country codes that the US wanted these girls to decode messages from).

    A political, feminist story??? As political as the USA was from the mid-1930s-WWII era. Political with regard to the fact that ALL of these girls were government employees holding top secret clearances and had a strong desire to work for the government to help the war effort -- if you are offended by women who wanted to work this kind of job rather than settle down and stay at home to be mothers and raise kids and not work, this story will not be for you. If you would like a vision of what the DC area must have been like circa WWII era, with women at work, and women asserting their capabilities outside of a of traditional women work roles (teacher, secretary, nurse, babysitter, housemaid) this is an inspiring story told from the perspective of living in that time, in that location, from the perspective of the girls who lived this life. Enjoy!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CaptainAmerica 10-10-17
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    "Big disappointment"

    After anxiously awaiting the release of this book, I was irritated to find the first chapter being politically charged and painting a negative picture about our armed forces. I refused to read further which I tried not to do but it was clear that the book would be one big story about women’s rights. I can’t stomach anymore of that rhetoric right now. As a woman, I admire and respect all who serve. The possibility of sharing a good story was overshadowed by politics.

    24 of 54 people found this review helpful

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