Stephen Budiansky

author • historian • journalist


The author of the definitive history of codebreaking in World War II—Battle of Wits—returns to the shadow world of cryptology to continue the story of NSA and America’s codebreakers through the decades-long Cold War struggle against the Soviet Union.


A skillful history of America’s code-breaking and the rise of the National Security Agency. . . . In a book that is more nuanced and far more entertaining than the revelations of Edward Snowden, Budiansky does not ignore the NSA’s accomplishments but reveals plenty of unsettling behavior.” — Kirkus


Budiansky is lucid in describing the science and art of breaking complex ciphers . . . [he] leavens the history and technology with colorful profiles of cryptographers and spies; the result is a lively account of how today’s information controversies emerged . . . engrossing history” — Publishers Weekly