Conjuring our passwords has become a daily act of our computer-saturated existence. By no means sequestered to our digital present, Martin Paul Eve’s excellent account of the password covers its long and lively history: ranging from ancient Rome and the ‘watchwords’ of military encampments, through the three-factor authentication systems of Harry Potter and up to the biometric scanner in the iPhone, Password makes a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the words, phrases and special characters that determine our belonging and, often, our being. Password, 124 pages, 005.8 EVE.

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