I found this book in a neighborhood bookstore about 10 years ago. Also have the updated version in eBook form, covering modern inventions such as public key cryptography.
Take a moment and look at the bottom picture, the rear cover table of contents...it gives a good idea of the rich awesomeness of this book. The history of cryptology and secret messages has been a rich and fascinating one, with some succeeding due to strong secret messages (e.g., the US's Navajo code talkers in World War 2) and death and ruin caused when secret communication is broken:
- Mary, Queen of Scots, doomed to execution because her secret message was broken by Queen Elizabeth's agents
- The Zimmerman Telegram, captured and broken by intrepid Britons, Helping to bring America into world War 1.
- Breaking the German Enigma allows the reading of German military communications during World War 2.
- US victory at Midway and the assassination of Admiral Yamamoto allowed by the breaking of Japanese cyphers
This book is also one of the first publications ever to mention the National Security Agency and it is one that they tried to suppress. Wikipedia link