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Code Girls

The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II



More than 10,000 women served as codebreakers during World War II. They were recruited by both the US Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges. While their brothers and boyfriend took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code breaking. Their effort shorten the war, save countless lives and gave them extra access to careers which had been previously denied.

“It was the first time many of the women had spent time in a bonafide work place apart from a classroom, and they discovered that work places are and have been since the dawn of time: places where one is annoyed and thwarted and underpaid and interrupted and under appreciated.”


Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II was jam packed with interesting information. Almost to much information, it was like drinking from a fire hose. There was no way I could absorb it all. Liza Mundy's years of accumulated research and interviews was certainly evident. With so much information to share, I found it difficult to understand how the book was organized.

I absolutely loved reading about how these women exhibited strength by moving to Washington DC and exhibited intelligence by contributing to our national security during difficult times. These women were able to crack both German and Japanese encryptions. My mother also moved to Washington DC in 1941, to work for the FBI. She, like the Code Girls had been a school teacher in Mississippi before she was recruited by the FBI. Maybe there is a story there that I didn’t know!

My favorite part of the book was the first hand experiences Mundy shared with us from her interviews of many of these brave women! Liza Mundy is an experienced researcher as evidenced by her New York Times best-selling books: The richer Sex: how the new majority of female breadwinners is transforming sex, love and family (2012) and Michelle a biography about Michelle Obama (2008).

Tooth and nail they worked. No one jostled for promotion. All this, they knew, was temporary. The point was to win the war and get back to their regularly scheduled lives.

Publisher Hachette Books/Hachette Audio

Published October 10, 2017

Narrated Erin Bennett

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