Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies by Kristie Macrakis
The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda

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Now, a secret writing recommendation: Rub your index finger over the last three words of this review. Read this book.
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Synopsis

Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies  is the first history of invisible ink and secret communications revealed through thrilling stories about scoundrels and heroes and their ingenious methods for concealing messages. Spies were imprisoned or murdered, adultery unmasked, and battles lost because of faulty or intercepted secret communications. Yet, successfully hidden writing helped save lives, win battles, and ensure privacy; occasionally it even changed the course of history.

Kristie Macrakis combines a storyteller's sense of drama with a historian's respect for evidence in this page-turning history of intrigue and espionage, love and war, magic and secrecy. From the piazzas of ancient Rome to the spy capitals of the Cold War, Macrakis's global history reveals the drama and importance of invisible ink. From Ovid's advice to use milk for illicit love notes, to John Gerard's dramatic escape from the tower of London aided by orange juice ink messages, to al-Qaeda's hidden instructions in pornographic movies, this book presents spellbinding stories of secret messaging that chart its evolution in sophistication and its impact on history. The book includes fun kitchen chemistry recipes for readers to try out at home.
 

About Kristie Macrakis

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Kristie Macrakis is professor of history, technology, and society at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a historian of science as well as espionage and the author of numerous books and articles, including Seduced by Secrets. She lives in Atlanta, GA.
 
Published March 28, 2014 by Yale University Press. 392 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Education & Reference, War.
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Washington Times

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Reviewed by Joseph C. Goulden on May 13 2014

Now, a secret writing recommendation: Rub your index finger over the last three words of this review. Read this book.

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