Twice winning the Pulitzer Prize, for The Guns of August and Stilwell and the American Experience in China, historian Barbara Tuchman first achieved prominence with this gripping account surrounding the intercepted transmission that tipped America into World War I. In January 1917 the war in Europe had ground down to a grisly standoff. But British codebreakers in an office known only as Room 40 intercepted a coded German message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. How Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for a remarkable story of espionage and intrigue.
"A true, lucid thriller ... a tremendous tale of hushed and unhushed uproars in the linked fields of war and diplomacy.... Tuchman makes the most of it with a creative writer's sense of drama and a scholar's obeisance to the evidence."—NYTimes