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George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved America Audio CD – Unabridged, May 24, 2016
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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 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.
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—HARVEY MACKAY, author of Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
“A rollicking read by Kilmeade and Yaeger, acknowledging a long overdue debt to six American heroes.”
“We would not have won the Revolution and secured our freedom, were it not for the leadership of George Washington and the courage of the spies he set in motion. George Washington’s Secret Six is a gripping and informative read.”
—CONGRESSMAN PETE KING, chairman of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security
“It would have been an honor to have served with Robert Townsend and the rest of the Culper spies in any of the deep-cover
intelligence operations I spearheaded over twenty-seven years.”
—WAYNE SIMMONS, coauthor of The Natanz Directive; CIA–Outside Paramilitary Special Operations
“Freedom is not free, never has been, and never will be. Kilmeade and Yaeger have done a wonderful job in reminding us all of the cost. Great read.”
—GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS (U.S. Army, ret.)
“A historical gem. I loved it.”
About the Author
Don Yaeger has written twenty-three books, including seven New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
- Publisher : Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (May 24, 2016)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 073520943X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735209435
- Item Weight : 5.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 1 x 6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #563,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I honestly had no idea just how important espionage was during the Revolutionary War. When I thought of this topic, I thought of what I learned in school: founding fathers, minutemen, Paul Revere, etc. But now I know it's so much more than that, and there was so much more going on in the background. They don't teach this in schools, but they should, maybe kids would pay attention.
Never boring or dry, this book really pulls you into the spy ring and let's you get to know each individual involved. At the end, it also explores who female agent 355 might have been. Sometimes, it's so juicy, I can't believe it really happened. It was interesting to compare and contrast it with the show too, which did add some fictional elements and make some changes, but not so much that it draws away from the real history, which makes me love the show even more.
This is precisely the kind of history book I would recommend to people who (wrongly) think history is boring, but it's also thrilling for those who already appreciate history. I don't think I've ever blown through non-fiction this fast.
However, if you're looking for a book with a historical backdrop and some interesting characters that's short on scholarship and accuracy then you might like this book.
Therein lies the rub. A handful of footnotes and references does not make this a history book. This is a work of historical fiction and should be classified as such. You might enjoy reading it, but I have always believed that real history in and of itself is by far more interesting than anything any author could conjure up in the comfort of their 21st century office.
But we’re dealing with FOX here so facts are simply whatever you choose to believe, like FOX is “the most patriotic company in America” and Roger Ailes “deserves thanks” for hiring him. That’s where I made my mistake: I didn’t know the “author” was just a lesser expresser on FOX and Friends, using other people’s research and a real writer to produce something patrio-nifty with his name on it. It’s ironic that the “like new” copy I bought is so warped it wobbles on the table like a potato chip. Seriously. I’d make a joke about “Fair and Balanced” but for some it wouldn’t be patriotic. Instead buy a real history book on Washington’s spy ring.