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Encyclopedia > David Kahn

David Kahn is a US historian, journalist and writer. He has written extensively on the history of cryptography and military intelligence and related subjects. A historian is a person who studies history. ... A journalist is a person who practices journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... See also: Topics in cryptography The security of all practical encryption schemes remains unproven, both for symmetric and asymmetric schemes. ... Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int [Commonwealth], or intel [U.S.]), is a military discipline that focuses on the gathering, analysis, protection, and dissemination of information about the enemy, terrain, and weather in an area of operations. ...

Kahn's first book was The Codebreakers (1967), widely considered a definitive account of the history of cryptography, up to the early 1960s. In particular, the story of cryptography in World War II was still then effectively classified. The most recent edition, published in 1996, has an additional chapter surveying with less depth events and breakthroughs in cryptology since the first edition, such as the advent of public key cryptography and PGP. The Codebreakers was a finalist for the non-fiction Pulitzer prize in 1968. The Codebreakers - The Story of Secret Writing (ISBN 0684831309) is a book written by David Kahn in 1967 chronicling the history of cryptology from ancient Egypt to the time of its writing. ... 1967 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The history of cryptography dates back thousands of years, and for the most part, it has been the history of classical cryptography; that is, methods of encryption which can be performed using pen and paper (or perhaps with simple mechanical aids). ... PKC, see PKC (disambiguation) Public-key cryptography is a form of modern cryptography which allows users to communicate securely without previously agreeing on a shared secret key. ... Pgp is an acronym for: Pretty Good Privacy, a computer program for the encryption and decryption of data; P-glycoprotein, a type of protein Party for the Government of the People (Partido por el Gobierno del Pueblo} Pearl of Great Price the ICAO code for Perm Airlines This page concerning... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-04-13, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...

David Kahn also wrote:

  • Plaintext in the new unabridged: An examination of the definitions on cryptology in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Crypto Press 1963)
  • Cryptology goes Public (Council on Foreign Relations 1979)
  • Notes & correspondence on the origin of polyalphabetic substitution (1980)
  • Codebreaking in World Wars I and II: The major successes and failures, their causes and their effects (Cambridge University Press 1980)
  • Kahn on Codes: Secrets of the New Cryptology (Macmillan 1984) (ISBN 0025606409
  • Cryptology: Machines, History and Methods by Cipher Deavours and David Kahn (Artech House 1989) (ISBN 0890063990)
  • Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boats Codes, 1939-1943 (Houghton Mifflin 1991) (ISBN 0395427398)
  • Hitler's Spies: German Military Intelligence in World War II (Da Capo Press 2000) (ISBN 0306809494)
  • The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail: Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking (Yale University Press 2004) (ISBN 0300098464)

Kahn traces his interest in cryptography to reading Fletcher Pratt's Secret and Urgent as a boy. Kahn is a founding editor of the Cryptologia journal. Murray Fletcher Pratt (1897–1956) was a science fiction and fantasy writer; he was also well-known to the public as a writer on naval history and on the American Civil War. ... Cryptologia is a journal in cryptography published quarterly since 1977. ...

Kahn was awarded a doctorate (DPhil) from Oxford University in 1974. He worked as a reporter and an op-ed editor for Newsday until 1998, and journalism for a few years at New York University. In 1995, Kahn was selected as the scholar in residence at the National Security Agency. The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... 1974 is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ... An Op-Ed is a piece of writing expressing an opinion. ... Newsday is a daily tabloid newspaper which primarily serves Long Island and the New York City borough of Queens, although it is sold throughout the greater New York City metropolitan area. ... 1998 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... New York University (NYU) is a large research university in New York City. ... 1995 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Security Agency / Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) is a United States government agency responsible for both the collection and analysis of message communications, and for the security of government communications against similar agencies elsewhere. ...

Kahn lives (as of 2005) in Great Neck, Long Island, a suburb of New York. He has lived in Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany; and Oxford, England. He attended Bucknell University as an undergraduate. After graduation, he worked as a reporter at Newsday for several years. It was during this period that he wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine about two defectors from the National Security Agency. This article was the origin of his book The Codebreakers]]. Subsequently, Kahn was the editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris for two years in the 1960s. He has two sons, Oliver and Michael. Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... Freiburg city from Schlossberg Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in the Breisgau region, on the western edge of the southern Black Forest (German: Schwarzwald) with about 200,000 inhabitants. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... Bucknell University is a university located along the Susquehanna River in the rolling countryside of Central Pennsylvania in the town of Lewisburg, whose entire 19th century downtown was recently placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The International Herald Tribune (or IHT) is fully owned by the New York Times, which along with its own staff journalists and news agencies supplies it with news and features. ...


The multiple human needs and desires that demand privacy among two or more people in the midst of social life must inevitably lead to cryptology wherever men thrive and wherever they write. (from The Codebreakers quoted at Liberty-Tree)

External links

  Results from FactBites:
David Kahn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (534 words)
Kahn's first book was The Codebreakers (1967), widely considered a definitive account of the history of cryptography, up to the early 1960s.
In 1995, Kahn was selected as the scholar in residence at the National Security Agency.
Codebreaking and the Battle of the Atlantic by David Kahn.
  More results at FactBites »



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