Crypto best book

Tim May tcmay at
Sat Aug 30 16:56:18 PDT 1997

At 10:54 AM -0700 8/30/97, David E. Smith wrote:
>> > >           What is the best book about cryptography ?
>> >
>> > Although "best" is certainly subjective, Nine out of Ten Cypherpunks (TM)
>> > recommend Bruce Schneier's "Applied Cryptography."
>> >
>> >
>> Bruce did a lousy job on this book.
>> If his is the first or the only book you read on the subject of
>> cryptography, your knowledge base will be seriously deficient.
>I'm certainly no crypto expert, what with Bruce's book being among the very
>few texts I've read (that and a couple of grad-level crypto textbooks that
>ended up in the University library because we don't have a grad program in
>the computer science department).
>Recommendations, then?

You were given recommendations for Schneier's book. If you discount those
recommendations because of the opinion of one disgruntled reader, this is
your problem.

Schneier is a reasonable overview, with more of an emphasis on currently
coded algorithms than some of the more academic treatments have.  The
academic treatments are widely available, too, from and other
bookstores.  They tend to be a decade or more old, and obviously lack
discussion of recent stuff. Denning, Meyer and Matyas, Brassard, etc. The
compendium of crypto articles edited by Gus Simmons is also pretty good.

It depends on one's interest. There are specialized number theory books,
manuals on how to use PGP (worthless, in my view, for various reasons), and
even books on digital cash.

But listen to what several people said about Schneier. Even if Vulis
dislikes it, it's still almost an "essential" book. And anyone at all
interested in crypto will likely end up with a bunch of books.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay at  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."

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