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There are but a few people in human history who have left an impact on the entire race. These people will be remembered till the end of days. Alan Turing is one of those individuals who have reshaped history. With numerous extraordinary achievements on his account, he is considered one of the most intelligent and smartest persons in human history.
He lived from 1912-1954 and is considered one of the smartest persons of the 20th Century. He was a renowned mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. He was an English citizen born in London and completed his education across various schools in the UK. From the beginning of his academic career, Turing was an outstanding student that exceeded the expectations.
What are the Best Books on Alan Turing to read?
For those who love to read biographies, Turing’s life is full of interesting, informative events that shaped the career of a world-famous scientist. However short it might be, his life is full of achievements and extraordinary events both in academic and innovative careers. If you like to read the biographies of such persons, there’s a buffet of books to choose from on Turing’s life.
Best Books on Alan Turing: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best alan turing books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. Alan Turing: The Enigma: The book that inspired the Film, The imitation game- Updated Edition
Of Course, a personality with such magnitude is not easy to understand with mere words and several books. There are films based on Alan Turing’s life and how he inspired the world to the idea of computer science based on his famous paper on computability.
This book is one of the New York Times bestsellers and the original inspiration behind the film “The imitation game”. The updated edition of the book is written after the release of the film with references from the film as well. Written by Andrew Hodges and a brilliant foreword by Douglas Hofstadter, this book contains the personal and professional insight into Turing’s interesting life. The book contains fragments on how Enigma decryption was made possible by a young mathematician that later lead him to write the most famous research paper on his theory of computability.
- Authors: Andrew Hodges (Author, Preface), Douglas Hofstadter (Foreword)
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised Edition (November 10, 2014)
- Pages: 768 pages
2. Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma
Giving the concept of modern computation and a universal computer that laid the foundation to the modern computer science is considered the greatest achievement of Alan M. Turing. Second, being breaking the Enigma code used by the German navy and its allies in world war 2. He was one of the most renowned and accomplished scientists of the 20th century.
Written by David Boyle, this book presents an overview of the life of Alan Turing focused on his second-largest achievement, breaking the Enigma encryption. The book presents a fair idea of his life and the journey took by him that enabled him to end the world war 2 earlier than it was anticipated, saving the lives of millions.
- Authors: David Boyle (Author)
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 19, 2014)
- Pages: 112 pages
3. Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
Alan Turing is the man who made possible these modern world innovations in the field of computer science. His ahead of time theory of computability, connecting it with his extensive knowledge of mathematics and decryption is the fundamental basis on which our current digital universe relies.
Written by George Dyson, this book presents an interesting, easy to read and immersive version of the events that made possible his world-famous paper on computing. This book contains the most in-depth insight into the theory and the possibilities that have come true due to it. The book has an account of events that took place within Turing’s laboratory where they worked in isolation, deciphering the code of Enigma.
- Authors: George Dyson (Author)
- Publisher: Vintage; 1st Edition (December 11, 2012)
- Pages: 464 pages
4. Alan Turing: The Enigma Man
During world war 2, the coast of Atlantic and waters were not safe for anyone. The battle of Atlantic raged in 1940 and most merchant convoys were caught in the fire of war. These convoys were one of the main supply chains for eastern Europe.
These convoys and other naval activities were at the mercy of Germans. Germans were using a coded message sequence created by a machine called Enigma. When every mathematician and cryptology expert raised their hands, only one man stood behind his firm belief that these codes could be broken. He decrypted the codes and was given the title of The Enigma Man. Later on, Sir Winston Churchill himself described his success and active role in decryption of Enigma codes and how important his contributions were for his country. This book, written by Nigel Cowthorne covers a great part of events of war and how Turing scored the title of The Enigma Man.
- Authors: Nigel Cawthorne (Author)
- Publisher: Arcturus (September 14, 2014)
- Pages: 136 pages
5. The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour through Alan Turing’s Historic Paper on computability and the Turing Machine
Turing has published countless papers that are still considered a pathway for innovators across the globe. His research work on computing and contributions towards the beginning of AI cannot be forgotten till the end of human civilization.
He is considered the scientist of the future who created an imaginary computer, names Turing Machine. He described in his most famous paper as what it would actually be for the computers to work. He is the founder of computability theory. This book is an elaborative, and immersive explanation of his work in computing based on the research paper. Written by Charles Petzold, this book covers a deeper insight into the Turing’s early life and how he managed to emerge as one of the most renowned mathematicians in England.
- Authors: Charles Petzold (Author)
- Publisher: Wiley; 1st Edition (June 16, 2008)
- Pages: 384 pages
6. A madman dreams of Turing Machines
Kurt Godel and Alan Turing never met in their lives. They both lived short lives and met tragic ends. However, there is a strange similarity between their lives and both of their work is incomplete without each other.
Their work collectively is the key behind modern computer science and all the fundamental concepts that have made possible this digital modern universe. Written by Janna Levin, this book presents a detailed account of how both of their lives have influenced the lives of billions that came after their time. The book draws a parallel line comparing both legends and their devoted work towards the advancement of computer science based on theories and innovations.
- Authors: Janna Levin (Author)
- Publisher: Anchor; 33149th Edition (September 18, 2007)
- Pages: 240 pages
7. Alan Turing: A Life from Beginning to End (World war 2 biographies book 7)
It is still believed that Alan Turing’s theories had more of a spiritual element to them than scientific and he shaped those spiritual beliefs towards innovation of some highly inspiring scientific marvels of human history.
That being said, he is considered one of the fathers of Artificial Intelligence. He was proven to be one of the most valuable assets for England due to his extra-ordinary decryption skills that helped decrypting Nazis’ enigma codes. Written by Hourly History, this book covers a deep account of Turing’s life from beginning to end. With highlights of his childhood, the book mainly focuses on his adult life. It contains a deeper insight into the death of his first love, the machines he invented, The conviction and poisoning and a lot more…
- Authors: Hourly History (Author)
- Publisher: Independently published (April 16, 2019)
- Pages: 43 pages
8. Alan M. Turing: Centenary Edition
Despite his short span of life, Alan M. Turing exceeded and outsmarted most of the scientists. He has some remarkable innovations and achievements on his plate that have reshaped the world of computing and still are causing huge developments in the fields of computer science and AI.
This book is written by Sara Turing, with brilliant Forewords by Martin Davis, Lyn Irvine, and Afterword by John Turing. The book presents a personal and in-depth account of Alan Turing’s life, his achievement, and his personality rather than focusing on his professional career and achievements. This book is an interesting read for all those who are interested in the personal life of Alan Turing and want to get a deeper insight.
- Authors: Sara Turing (Author), Martin Davis (Foreword), Lyn Irvine (Foreword), John Turing (Afterword)
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Centenary edition (March 22, 2012)
- Pages: 195 pages
9. Turing: Pioneer of the Information age
Turing is undoubtedly considered the father of computer science and modern age computers due to his inspiring theory of computability. He is deemed as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century that have impacted the world of innovation and contributed towards inventions, making possible the technological innovations.
Written by B. Jack Copeland, this book contains an in-depth account of events that took place in Turing’s tragically short life. The book contains information on how Turing turned out to be one of the most brilliant mathematicians. There are also some great deep insights into the breaking of German Military codes by Turing and his other achievements.
- Authors: B. Jack Copeland (Author)
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 20, 2013)
- Pages: 300 pages
10. Prof: Alan Turing Decoded
Human History have seen but a few men like Alan Turing. With such a magnitude of his personality, he only had a tragically short life of 42 years being convicted for indecency. Many believe him to be a war hero, unappreciated by his country. While it is easier to understand him as a stereotypical professor who spent his life gathered with boards and machines, that is not entirely true.
Written by Dermot Turing, his nephew. The book explains the secret behind “Prof” a title that was given to him by his team-mates. However, he was a dynamic man, far opposite from the image of a geek. The book explains his growth as a student, influential characters in his life during his professional career and much more that actively played a role in the development of one of the most intelligent scientists of the 20th Century.
- Authors: Dermot Turing (Author)
- Publisher: Pitkin Publishing; 1st Edition (December 1, 2015)
- Pages: 320 pages
11. The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded
Alan Turing has numerous achievements on his account that are unmatched in the scientific history. Yet, deciphering the Enigma codes used by the German Military during world war 2 is considered his second-largest achievement.
Imitation Game is written by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis. The book explains deeper insight into the events and factors at play during the world war 2 and his decryption of Enigma codes. This book is a detailed biography of Alan Turing’s life, his achievements, the journey towards the top of his career and his sad conviction. He is considered a man who was way beyond the time and his innovations are seen as the fuel for most modern researches being conducted in the fields of computer science and encryption.
- Authors: Jim Ottaviani (Author), Leland Purvis (Illustrator)
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 22, 2016)
- Pages: 240 pages
12. Turing’s Vision: The Birth of Computer Science (The MIT Press)
Computer Science as we see it today and the innovations that are to happen in the future are to thanks Turing’s fascinating and impressive theory on Computability. In a mere age of 24, he wrote a paper that laid the foundation of all modern computers.
Written by Chris Berhnhardt, this book explains the theory in terms of a normal reader’s understandable narrative. This book provides its reader with a comprehensive version of the theory that was way ahead of time and contained scientific terms. There are also references to the most modern technologies that are made possible by the theory of Alan Turing that he presented in 1936, after his remarkable work in decrypting the Enigma codes. There is also a list of possible conclusions that could be exempted from his impeccable pieces of work.
- Authors: Chris Bernhardt (Author)
- Publisher: The MIT Press; Reprint Edition (April 21, 2017)
- Pages: 208 pages
13. Alan Turing: The life and legacy of the English Computer Scientist who became world war 2’s most famous code breaker
The outbreak of world war 2 was catastrophic for the whole world that was trying to get over the damages of world war 1. Under those stressful times, the Atlantic Ocean is the most important supply and trade route for the US and Europe was facing a hard time from Germany and its allies.
Alan Turing is the man that is known for breaking the Enigma code used by the German military. This book written by Charles River Editors present a details account on the events of world war 2 and how Alan Turing emerged the man behind breaking the code and shortening world war2, saving millions of lives. This book is a great help for all those who are looking to understand the personal and professional life of Alan Turing side-by-side. There are also photos included that make this book more interesting and immersive.
- Authors: Charles River Editors (Author)
- Publisher: Charles River Editors (June 27, 2018)
- Pages: 70 pages
14. Alan Turing: His Work and Impact
There are numerous books that are the biographies and explain the works of Alan Turing. However, there are but a few books on the impact that was only made possible by Alan Turing’s innovations and his ahead of time concepts. The theories presented by him are still having an impact on the studies and researches being conducted in the field of computer sciences.
Written by S. Barry Cooper and edited by J. van Leeuwen, this book presents the most modern and up-to-date explanation of the works of Turing. The book has an understandable and easy-to-follow narrative on the research papers and innovations that were made possible by Alan Turing. The book is a great help for modern-day researchers and those who love to read biographies to understand an in-depth version of Alan Turing’s work and its impact on the modern world computing.
- Authors: S. Barry Cooper (Editor), J. van Leeuwen (Editor)
- Publisher: Elsevier Science; 1st Edition (March 18, 2013)
- Pages: 937 pages
15. Alan Turing: The Life of a Genius
Alan Turing is considered a genius who was ahead of his time. His mathematical concepts, his work in decryption, his computability theory, all collectively made him one of the most intelligent brains of the 20th century.
He lived a short life of 42 years that came to end by sad poisoning. While many of his theories and innovations are still relevant and being used to fuel the research in the computer science field. The events of his personal life and his personality are buried in the pages of history. This book written by Dermont Turing, his nephew contains a more personal perspective that lets you peek into the personal life of Alan Turing with a deeper and closer perspective to the accounts of events that took place in his life.
- Authors: Dermot Turing (Author)
- Publisher: Pitkin (September 1, 2017)
- Pages: 36 pages
16. The Man who won world war 2: Alan Turning, a fictionalized biography
While there are no second thoughts or opinions on the contribution of Alan Turing in winning the world war 2, it was not he alone who made that possible. Alan Turing worked with a team of expert mathematicians, scientists, and cryptanalysts who worked together in isolation and secret to break the famous Enigma code.
However, Alan Turing is perhaps the most accomplished man of the 20th century. He was leading the team and it would not have been possible to win the world war 2 without his efforts and contributions to the cause. Written by George M. Hahn, this book presents a fictionalized version of his biography for those who like to read interesting biographies with immersive narrative.
- Authors: George M. Hahn (Author)
- Publisher: SR Hahn (October 25, 2018)
- Pages: 405 pages
17. Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a great thinker
With a personality like Alan Turing, their legacy continues to live centuries after their demise. He gifted the world with the concept and fundamentals for a universal computer that is still helping with the advancement of AI and computer science.
Written by Christof Teuscher, this book contains an easy to understand and highly immersive narrative on the life of Alan Turing. The book contains an account of general life as how he lived, his academic career and his innovations and achievements in the field of professional computing. From his famous breaking of Enigma code to the concept of computation, this book is a right read for those who want to get a deep insight into the complete life of Alan Turing and the legacy he has left to be followed by modern computer scientists and mathematicians.
- Authors: Christof Teuscher (Author)
- Publisher: Springer (November 20, 2003)
- Pages: 570 pages
18. Alan Turing’s System of Logic: The Princeton Thesis
A person with such magnitude never ceases to study. The lust for knowledge in such people always draws them to keep moving forward and gain all the knowledge they can. Between giving the concept of a universal computer that would change the future of the entire human race to breaking the famous Enigma code during world war 2, Alan Turing went to Princeton for his research in mathematics.
Written by Andrew W. Appel, this book presents an account of the events and his progress during his time at Princeton. Turing’s thesis at Princeton is a marvel of mathematics and philosophy. It is still considered a guide for those who are looking to understand the fundamentals of advanced mathematics and want to use it towards computing. The book presents an in-depth analysis of logic and ideas presented by Alan Turing in his famous thesis at Princeton.
- Authors: Andrew W. Appel (Editor)
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint Edition (November 16, 2014)
- Pages: 160 pages
19. The Alan Turing’s Codebreaker puzzle book
Alan Turing is referred to as the father of computer science and the man behind modern computers. He worked with his team during world war 2 to decipher the codes used by Germany and its allies. He successfully decrypted the codes, encrypted by the machine called Enigma.
This book, however, is not about the account of events that took place. Written by World Renowned puzzle expert Dr. Gareth Moore, this book contains numerous puzzles collected from across the world that you can use to examine and enhance the puzzle-solving skills of your own. If you can solve all the puzzles in this book, you can proudly say that you could have been recruited in Turing’s team during his time.
- Authors: Gareth Dr Moore (Compiler)
- Publisher: Sirius (March 1, 2018)
- Pages: 304 pages
20. Alan Turing: Master of Cracking Codes (Computer Pioneers)
Alan Turing gained popularity from World War 2. He is considered the man responsible for shortening the war with his decryption work that decoded the Enigma codes and saved the lives of millions. He laid the foundation for other computer scientists and most modern innovations are to thanks Alan Turing for their base concepts.
Written by Ryan Nagelhout, this book contains an in-depth narrative that lets you connect the dots of most modern innovations, technologies, and researches being linked to Turing’s life and how he made possible the most impeccable decryption in the history of computing. To increase the interest, this book also contains photographs and an interactive timeline of the events. Some fascinating facts of Turing’s code-breaking career serve as a role model for all young decryption enthusiasts.
- Authors: Ryan Nagelhout (Author)
- Publisher: PowerKids Press; Reprint Edition (August 15, 2016)
- Pages: 32 pages
Choosing the Best Books on Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing has undoubtedly changed the fate of the human world. He made possible the very innovation of computers on which each aspect of human civilization is relying. His short life is full of numerous achievements that are remarkable in every sense. There are hundreds of biographies written on his life and if you are the person who likes to read biographies of famous people, you are at the right place. We have compiled a list of some top books on Alan Turing’s life. These books signify different aspects of his life and if you want to get a book on Alan Turing, you can read our critical reviews and choose the right book for you.