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Alan Turing

The Life and Legacy of the English Computer Scientist Who Became World War II’s Most Famous Codebreaker
Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
Length: 1 hr and 40 mins

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The year is 1930. The US is still freshly reeling from the cataclysmic stock-market crash the previous October and is desperately attempting to claw its way out from the slippery pits of the Great Depression. Four thousand miles away, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald is struggling himself to prevail over a reality that is as irremediable as it is inextricable: preserving the gold standard and providing adequate aid to the poor and unemployed, the latter of which there were reportedly two million of by year's end. 

The situation in the UK is comparably dim, for not only had the British also been affected by the crash, they had yet to recover from the lasting wounds of the First World War. It would not be uncommon to see a mob of fuming men posted outside of a labor exchange or the so-called “instructional centers” introduced by Prime Minister MacDonald. These men were armed with not guns, but with placards the length of their torsos. “Release Us from Hunger”, one placard screamed in bold letters. “We Demand Winter Relief", read another. 

In another part of town, a number of impoverished families awaited their measly share of gruel, provided to them by a makeshift soup kitchen. The scenes became even more depressing following the setting of the sun. If one took a stroll through the streets of the “rough” neighborhoods, they would see countless silhouettes, large and small, camping out in alleyways, street corners, and embankments, huddled up in a futile attempt to escape the biting frost of winter.

It was amidst this bleak atmosphere that a peerlessly profound young mind in South West England first envisioned a concept so momentous that it ultimately led to the creation of what is now considered the world's first computer. This young man was none other than Alan Turing, who was far from the suave, pipe-puffing dandy many might associate with such a grand and futuristic idea. At the same time, Turing was hardly the kind of two-dimensional, stereotypically bookish character whose light bulb suddenly went off during an experiment binge either. On the contrary, Alan was a gauche and grief-stricken 17-year-old schoolboy who would channel all the pain and confusion from his poignant heartbreak into his tireless research, paving the path for the deeply transformative Computer Age.

Alan Turing: The Life and Legacy of the English Computer Scientist Who Became World War II’s Most Famous Codebreaker looks at the life of one of World War II’s unsung heroes. You will learn about Alan Turing like never before.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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