"Alan Turing: The Enigma" by Andrew Hodges (1983)
"His sexuality might at best elicit a similar condescension, but more likely the associations of evil, tragedy and disease. Above all, it was a matter on which society still demanded silence. Such silence was for him tantamount to an uneasy game of deceit, and he loathed pretence. But as chief consultant to GC and CS, he was living at the heart of yet another imitation game, doing work that did not officially exist."
Alan Turing is best known as one of the key figures in the development of computers. He grew up in England, studied Mathematics at Cambridge, helped break the German Enigma code during World War II, helped construct the British ACE - one of the earliest computers - and pioneered work in morphogenetic fields. He took his own life in 1954.
And you know what I would do if Alan Turing was somehow right here, in this room? I'd give him a hug. Why? Because that's what he really needed - a hug.
Unfortunately, and instead of hugs, he got the double repression of being a homosexual in pre- and post-WWII Britain. It was a place where being a heterosexual was difficult enough, but being gay? We're not talking about "the love that dare not speak its name" here, we're talking about imprisonment, hormone injections, and even lobotomies. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for him, trying to fit into a society that was never, ever going to accept him.
As for Andrew Hodges' biography of Turing, it veers between boring, interesting, and extremely pretentious. I'm still not entirely sure what he was on about in that last chapter, but I suspect he may have been overthinking the matter. He had very little to work with after all, given both the "shame" surrounding Turing's later years and the fact that much of Turing's work during WWII was classified.
Oh, and if you haven't seen it already, check out The Imitation Game. It's much more entertaining than this book.
"Permutation City" by Greg Egan (1994)
"The Information" by James Gleick (2011)
Conversation with Bertrand Russell