iv. About our common book

  • We all have voted!
    Our common book for reading is:
    'Alan Turing: the Enigma' by Andrew Hodges (a biography).

    Hodges Andrew 

    Andrew Hodges is Tutor in Mathematics at Wadham College, Oxford University. His classic text of 1983, since translated into several languages, created a new kind of biography, with mathematics, science, computing, war history, philosophy and gay liberation woven into a single personal narrative. He is an active contributor to the mathematics of fundamental physics, as a follower of Roger Penrose. See www.turing.org.uk for further material.

    A summary of the biography:

    This is the official book that inspired the film The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and which has received eight Oscar nominations, including: Best film; Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Supporting Actress; Best Adapted Screenplay; and Alan Turing was the mathematician whose cipher-cracking transformed the Second World War. Taken on by British Intelligence in 1938, as a shy young Cambridge don, he combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. In 1940 his machines were breaking the Enigma-enciphered messages of Nazi Germany's air force. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications. But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer. Turing's far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence. However, in 1952 his homosexuality rendered him a criminal and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing took his own life.

    A critic:

    "One of the finest scientific biographies I've ever read: authoritative, superbly researched, deeply sympathetic and beautifully told" Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind "Andrew Hodges' book is of exemplary scholarship and sympathy. Intimate, perceptive and insightful, it's also the most readable biography I've picked up in some time" Time Out "A first-rate presentation of the life of a first-rate scientific mind" New York Times Book Review "One of the finest scientific biographies ever written" New Yorker "A first-rate presentation of the life of a first-rate scientific mind...it is hard to imagine a more thoughtful and warm biography than this one" 

    Douglas Hofstadter New York Times Book Review

    Reviews (about the book):

    "Scrupulous and enthralling."--A. O. Scott, New York Times

    "One of the finest scientific biographies ever written."--Jim Holt, New Yorker

    "Andrew Hodges' 1983 book Alan Turing: The Enigma, is the indispensable guide to Turing's life and work and one of the finest biographies of a scientific genius ever written."--Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

    "Turing's rehabilitation from over a quarter-century's embarrassed silence was largely the result of Andrew Hodges's superb biography, Alan Turing: The Enigma (1983; reissued with a new introduction in 2012). Hodges examined available primary sources and interviewed surviving witnesses to elucidate Turing's multiple dimensions. A mathematician, Hodges ably explained Turing's intellectual accomplishments with insight, and situated them within their wider historical contexts. He also empathetically explored the centrality of Turing's sexual identity to his thought and life in a persuasive rather than reductive way."--Michael Saler, Times Literary Supplement

    "On the face of it, a richly detailed 500-page biography of a mathematical genius and analysis of his ideas, might seem a daunting proposition. But fellow mathematician and author Hodges has acutely clear and often extremely moving insight into the humanity behind the leaping genius that helped to crack the Germans' Enigma codes during World War II and bring about the dawn of the computer age. . . . This melancholy story is transfigured into something else: an exploration of the relationship between machines and the soul and a full-throated celebration of Turing's brilliance, unselfconscious quirkiness and bravery in a hostile age."--Sinclair McKay, Wall Street Journal

    "A first-class contribution to history and an exemplary work of biography."--I. J. Good, Nature

    "An almost perfect match of biographer and subject. . . . [A] great book."--Ray Monk, Guardian

    Subject Areas:

    Listed as one of the essential 50 books of all time in The Guardian

    Read or print the book HERE

    • This view is of the Paperback edition (2014) from Princeton University Press. The MP3 CD edition (2015) from Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio that you originally viewed is the one you'll receive if you click the Add to Cart button on the left.

    This book inspired the film 'The imitation game', 2014. 

    The official trailer: HERE

    The full movie: HERE

    It was a suggestion from ALA Bookworm, the Book Club from Adana, Turkey.