A YALSA EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FINALIST • A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Elizebeth Smith Friedman had a rare talent for spotting patterns and solving puzzles. These skills led her to become one of the top cryptanalysts in America during both World War I and World War II.
She originally came to code breaking through her love for Shakespeare when she was hired by an eccentric millionaire to prove that Shakespeare’s plays had secret messages in them. Within a year, she had learned so much about code breaking that she was a star in the making. She went on to play a major role decoding messages during WWI and WWII and also for the Coast Guard’s war against smugglers.
Elizebeth and her husband, William, became the top code-breaking team in the US, and she did it all at a time when most women weren’t welcome in the workforce.
Amy Butler Greenfield is an award-winning historian and novelist who aims to shed light on this female pioneer of the STEM community.