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George Washington's Secret Six by Brian…
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George Washington's Secret Six (2013)

by Brian Kilmeade

Other authors: Don Yaeger

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The Culper Spy Ring occupies an interesting place in history not only because they helped America win its revolution, but also because they remained a secret for so long after the fact. Even today, one member's identity is still unknown (though they are almost positive she was a woman), and the others were only figured out in the 20th century. I liked learning about the spycraft but the tales of the spies' activities themselves - and the later historians' methods of finding them out - were the bigger draw. Certainly a book worth picking up if you're interested in intelligence or the American Revolution. (Preferably both.)

A note on the audio: This is read by the author. His performance was enthusiastic but pretty uneven in terms of cadence and tempo. ( )
  melydia | Dec 22, 2017 |
Most of this is a reasonably good popular history of a spy ring operating in the New York City area during the revolution. Saving the group "saved the revolution" is oversold --in particular, I do not think the ring contributed significantly to exposing Benedict Arnold's treachery -- but it did provide useful information about British moves based on New York, which was the main British base for much of the war. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 19, 2017 |
Interesting that Benedict Arnold got caught in an audit and was required to pay a refund! ( )
  averycarl | May 31, 2017 |
Spying apparently had a great deal to do with the US winning the revolutionary war. This book gives a brief overview of the men who made up George Washington's secret spy ring. I learned quite a bit of interesting history, as I did not know anything about this espionage before I listened to this book. I did not even know that New York City was occupied by the British for so long during the war, let alone that spies were running around in it, interacting with the British occupiers in hopes of learning useful information to pass onto Washington. It was interesting to learn of the methods that they learned, and while I knew that Benedict Arnold was a traitor I did not know much about why he switched sides, or how his plan was thwarted. That story was hair raising and much better that what I learned in school. I would recommend this book as a good introduction to the story of the spy ring, but it is brief and does not offer much depth or scholarly footnotes. And I would highly suggest the print version over the audio version, as the one I listened to was read by the author. He has a voice suited for bombastic political commentary, but not for narrating a book. ( )
  debs4jc | May 1, 2017 |
Brian Kilmeade's foray into history covers a long term fascination of how spies operated during the American Revolution. In this book, the Culper Six, a spy ring lately created after the Nathan Hale debacle, story is told. Almost virtually unknown, it was their work that uncovered Benedict Arnold's treachery & twice fooled the British command under Clinton stationed in New York City, in not only the French fleet landing off the coast of Rhode Island but also the Cornwallis expedition at Yorktown. This reader learned how this group operated under severe circumstances & close encounters with enemies intent on discovering how the Americans seemed one step ahead of the British. We are introduced to Talmadge who worked as a key operator & who developed a secret code that kept everyone else in the dark except for his 5 other fellow spies. We see the five are ordinary folks remaining unnoticed until the near disaster after the Arnold treachery is discovered resulting in one of their members arrested & confined on a British prison ship. The author relates that it took years to discover the five members but questions remain about Agent 355, who is conjectured to have been a woman of some respect. He includes a chapter of the possible names of who it might have been. In all, an excellent detective work to tell the story of a spy ring that saved America from a treachery that would have wreaked havoc with Washington's path for victory over the British. You will learn much from this story as I did & a good addition to the history of the American Revolution. ( )
  walterhistory | Feb 23, 2017 |
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Kilmeade, Brianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yaeger, Donsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Washington did not really outfight the British,
he simply outspied us!

Major George Beckwith,
British Intelligence Officer 1782-1783
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my Fantastic Five—wife, Dawn; son, Bryan;
daughters, Kirstyn and Kaitlyn; and my incredible mom--who have heard
me talk about this story for years, spent countless hours researching it,
and urged me to write this book.  Finally, it's done.

——————B.K.
Tiffany: You are a pro's pro, one of the best writers
I've ever worked with. I'm honored you're on my team.

——————D.Y.
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Introduction

He was twenty-one years old and knew that in a matter of moments he would die.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159523103X, Hardcover)

“As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they didn’t get in life. The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who give so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.”
—Brian Kilmeade

When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring.

Washington realized that he couldn’t beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members’ identities that one spy’s name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one
remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring’s activities to piece together evidence that these six
individuals turned the tide of the war.

Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits of George Washington’s secret six:

?Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchant and reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keeping his identity secret even from Washington;

?Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked his employment and his life in order to protect the mission;

?Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoreman who loved baiting the British and agreed to ferry messages between Connecticut and New York;

?Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (and surprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelor with business and family excuses for traveling to Manhattan;

?James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouse and print shop where high-ranking British officers gossiped about secret operations;

?Agent 355, a woman whose identity remains unknown but who seems to have used her wit and charm to coax officers to share vital secrets.

 In George Washington’s Secret Six, Townsend and his fellow spies finally receive their due, taking their place among the pantheon of heroes of the
American Revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:02 -0400)

When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied--thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn't beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members' identities that one spy's name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring's activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. Here, these spies finally take their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.--From publisher description.… (more)

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