Searching for: "Stephen Budiansky"

  • Stephen Budiansky

    A sweeping, in-depth history of NSA, whose famous “cult of silence” has left the agency shrouded in mystery for decades   The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, NSA played a vital, often fraught and controversial...read more

  • Stephen Budiansky

    From 1866 to 1876, more than three thousand free African Americans and their white allies were killed in cold blood by terrorist organizations in the South.Over the years this fact would not only be forgotten, but a series of exculpatory myths would arise to cover the tracks of this orchestrated campaign of atrocity and violence. Little memory would persist of the simple truth: that a well-organized and directed terrorist movement, led by ex-Confederates who refused to accept the verdict of Appomattox and the enfranchisement of the freedmen, succeeded in overthrowing the freely elected representative governments of every Southern state.Stephen Budiansky brings to life this largely forgotten...read more

  • Stephen Budiansky

    In March 1941, after a year of unbroken and devastating U-boat onslaughts, the British War Cabinet decided to try a new strategy in the foundering naval campaign. To do so, they hired an intensely private, bohemian physicist who was also an ardent socialist. Patrick Blackett was a former navy officer and future winner of the Nobel Prize; he is little remembered today, but he and his fellow scientists did as much to win the war against Nazi Germany as almost anyone else. As director of the World War II antisubmarine effort, Blackett used little more than simple mathematics and probability theory-and a steadfast belief in the utility of science-to save the campaign against the U-boat....read more

  • Stephen Budiansky

    Oliver Wendell Holmes twice escaped death as a young Union officer in the Civil War when musket balls missed his heart and spinal cord by a fraction of an inch. He lived ever after with unwavering moral courage, unremitting scorn for dogma, and an insatiable intellectual curiosity. Named to the Supreme Court by Theodore Roosevelt at age sixty-one, he served for nearly three decades, writing a series of famous, eloquent, and often dissenting opinions that would prove prophetic in securing freedom of speech, protecting the rights of criminal defendants, and ending the Court's reactionary resistance to social and economic reforms. As a pioneering legal scholar, Holmes revolutionized the...read more

  • Stephen Budiansky

    The first major biography of the logician and mathematician whose incompleteness theorems helped launch a modern scientific revolution. Nearly a hundred years after its publication, Kurt Gödel's famous proof that every mathematical system must contain propositions that are true-yet never provable-continues to unsettle mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. Yet unlike Einstein, with whom he formed a warm and abiding friendship, Gödel has long escaped all but the most casual scrutiny of his life. An intimate portrait of the scientific and intellectual circles in prewar Vienna and a vivid re-creation of the early days of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, Journey to the Edge...read more