Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies:
The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda
This event includes a book signing
April 22, 2014
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes Georgia Institute of Technology professor KRISTIE MACRAKIS for a discussion of her book Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda.
Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies is the first history of invisible writing, uncovered through 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. An appendix includes fun kitchen chemistry recipes for readers to try out at home.
"Prisoners, Lovers & Spies captivates with its tales of early secret communication." —Kirkus Reviews
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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