Ratcliff, R.A. 1963–

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Ratcliff, R.A. 1963–

(Rebecca Ann Ratcliff)

PERSONAL:

Born 1963.

ADDRESSES:

Home—CA.

CAREER:

Writer, consultant, educator. Previously taught history at the University of San Francisco and the University of California at Berkeley; lectured on cryptologic history at the National Security Agency intelligence school.

WRITINGS:

Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to journals, including Intelligence, National Security, and Cryptologia.

SIDELIGHTS:

R.A. Ratcliff is an expert on cryptologic history, and has lectured on the subject at the National Security Agency intelligence school. She has also taught history on the university level, at both the University of San Francisco and the University of California at Berkeley. She works as a consultant in Silicon Valley and is a contributor to various periodicals, including Intelligence, National Security, and Cryptologia. Her first book, Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers, was published in 2006. The book addresses intelligence communications during World War II from the point of view of the Germans, including an analysis of the supposedly fool-proof encryption machine, Enigma, that the Germans utilized during the war. Ratcliff goes on to highlight the ways in which the Allied Forces took advantage of opportunities for advancement in technology and accessing intelligence whenever the Germans made errors in judgment or their encryptions failed. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book "provocative," and Graeme S. Mount, reviewing in the Canadian Journal of History, pointed out that "Ratcliff provides balance. This is not simply a story of Allied successes and German mistakes." Mount went on to note that, "without an understanding of Ultra, one cannot understand the military campaign against the Axis belligerents."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Canadian Journal of History, winter, 2006, Graeme S. Mount, review of Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers, p. 579.

Foreign Affairs, January 1, 2007, Lawrence D. Freedman, "Military, Scientific, and Technological—Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers," p. 161.

Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2006, review of Delusions of Intelligence, p. 43.

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Ratcliff, R.A. 1963–

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