George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
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George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,555 ratings  ·  451 reviews
“As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by eventsthat happened in a place I call home, I hope withthis book to give the secret six the credit they didn’tget in life. The Culper spies represent all the patrioticAmericans who give so much for their country but,because of the nature of their work, will not or cannottake a bow or even talk about their missions.”
—Brian Kilmead...more
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Sentinel HC
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Art
Unfortunately, the title and the subject are much more exciting than this sometimes sophomoric telling of the Culper Ring's story. To say it is dumbed down is an under statement. I read on, even after encountering: "But as the sky began to lighten, there were still men to move -- and it was then that Washington's prayers proved effective. A thick fog began to roll in, like the benevolent breath of God, providing cover and protection until every last soldier and piece of equipment reached safety...more
Katie
Feb 07, 2014 Katie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I love reading about the Revolutionary War and was excited to learn something new.

This is a very, very dumbed down account of history, featuring fictional conversations and lines that go something like: no one knows which prayers George Washington said that day, but then the fog rolled in like the breath of God (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea). I kept wanting to throw this book across the room and, as I considered it, saw Brian Kilmeade's photo and bio on the back flap.

OH. This awful, t...more
Brandon Yoder
I try not to review books too often on here because I just don't think I'm that good at it, but this book I had to say a few words about. I love history and was even a history major in college, but had never heard of the Culper spy ring before. I can't stop wondering why I haven't? This group of six people were clearly important to General Washington and crucial in stopping many of the things that could have cost America the war. The sad part is what they have done or that they even existed seem...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I wish I'd paid attention to who the author was before deciding to listen to this in audiobook form. Brian Kilmeade is from Fox & Friends, notorious for his idiot taco comment to a co-anchor. Once I discovered this, I became more skeptical of the book. I'm not perfect. I just don't like that guy.

The topic interests me, the spy ring formed by Washington that successfully obtained important information during the Revolutionary War, not the least being the entire British naval code. The mystery...more
Rebecca
I found the opening quote to this book incredibly timely. "Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!" Major George Beckwith.

Intelligence gatherers, HUMINT, and the variety of other names spies are called have been with us since the beginning of time. And yet, we still hear public outcries from individuals, countries, and governments about being spied upon. Of course, while they are busy spying on us.

I was lucky enough to have studied the Culper Spy Ring years ago. I...more
Arminius
George Washington’s Secret Six is an incredible story of six spy’s who helped win the American Revolution. Benjamin Tallmadge was in charge of forming the spy ring because of his vast knowledge of English held Long island territory. He formed an expert spy ring with the following people:
Abraham Woodhull had business dealings throughout Manhattan which allowed him unmolested British passage and unsuspected message delivery to the Americans.
Robert Townsend owned Templeton and Stewart, a business...more
Naomi
This is a short inviting read on a fascinating, little known aspect in the Revolutionary War. Part of it almost reads as though it is a fictional read complete with "dialog". However, it is a non-fiction book. I have read a number of books on this topic including Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring. Most of these have been very dry reads. This book wasn't so it would be perfect for those who aren't necessarily into "war stories", but want to learn fascinating tidbits from o...more
April
I really wanted to read this because I knew almost nothing about the Culper Spy Ring except a mention of them in National Treasure or something like that. I should have done my research first and picked a book by an actual historian (I had no idea who the author was when I started this book). My primary complaint with this book is the imagined conversations. I'm not talking about recreated conversations where the words are put in quotes instead of the way they were originally related in a letter...more
Marilee Turscak
A riveting story of a previously unknown group of spies who changed the tide of the American Revolution. Six brave patriots used an elaborate network of citizens to spy on the British and relayed crucial information to George Washington. The most remarkable thing about this story is that these spies were completely anonymous and received almost no historical praise, and yet without them, we might still be under the British. The intelligence network included a bartender who would quietly listen i...more
Michele
I think one of the things that makes this book great is its length. Making history interesting but also accessible to people today is important and I think this book does both.
I think I will never forget agent 355. It's hard to believe they couldn't find out more about her. What a lady and what a sacrifice. She was by far one of the most interesting characters of the book. It's like I always say: Women are essential to any war and gossip is more important than we realize, especially in war. That...more
Jill
I only made it through Chapter Four of this book. It was so full of hyperbole, misrepresentations, and downright inaccuracies that I was too infuriated to continue.

In my opinion, those who purport to convey “history” have a sacred trust, and I cannot understand why publishers let this kind of humbug see print.

Thus, this book became a “DNF” (did not finish) for me. (I started to keep a list of the passages in which the truth was distorted, misinterpreted, or just omitted, but after five pages of...more
Lynn Beckstead
I liked the book because of my interest in history, particularly the revolutionary war period. The story is a historical account of the first american spy ring operating in New York and Connecticut while the British occupied these states in 1776. A great deal of fairly current research uncovered the identities of all but one of the six patriots, the last being the only women of the group identified by her code name 355.

A good read and I would recommend it because of its historical significance,...more
Candy
The story of the "Culper Ring" of revolutionary patriot spies is taught as part of today's introductory training for new CIA agents. Kilmeade and Yaeger write an easy to read and fascinating tale of the brave men and lone woman, who worked in profound secrecy in New York City and environs to help secure the freedom Americans enjoy today.
Jill
Fascinating read about the little known spy ring which was situated in NYC during the American Revolution. Recent discoveries about the identity of one of the members made the information compelling. Without this particular network of spies, the war would most probably not have been won by the Americans, as many extremely large plans of attack were thwarted just in time. The book was written in such a conversational manner that the details were delicious to digest. I found the recounting of Bene...more
Carolyn Appleton
Ever since learning about the book from a televised interview of Brian Kilmeade in 2013, I've been intensely curious about it. While I had always heard from family that I had relatives who participated in the American Revolutionary War, it was not until 2010 that good friends in Corpus Christi, Texas helped me begin the formal identification process. This led to my being elected to membership in the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution later that year. My first documented ances...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
It was enlightening to learn about the six individuals who were the top-secret Culper Spy Ring and how they helped the patriot cause and George Washington during the Revolutionary War. These six helped defeat the British especially with the intelligence they gathered for Washington concerning activity around New York.

Why did we only learn about Nathan Hale in school? I hope someone discovers the identity of the woman called Agent 355 so she can receive her just rewards.
Jeff Shackelford
Much more depth could've and should've been added to this story. The authors couldn't do something so simple as to paint a picture of Robert Townsend collecting information at the coffeehouse? In their own words, "He had sincerely hoped to have some time with the mysterious Culper Junior, who had risked his life, health, and well-being for so long, passing in and out of the lion's mouth every day, seeking to still the monarch's roar within the American borders." They can write that, but not incl...more
Sherry
What a wonderful reminder of the ordinary men and women who quietly and courageously risked everything they had so that we could live in a free and independent nation! These are great American heroes!
Sally
A must read!! American history and Six people who spied on the British.
With out them, we would have lost the war to Britain.
True story. What more could one ask for, History and Espionage.
Stephen
Wars are not won by soldiers alone. In the shadows are those silently gathering information, sometimes at great risks to themselves, to give the nation's leaders an edge over the foe -- or to prevent the foe's own shadowy talents from doing likewise. George Washington's Secret Six is a flashy history of a civilian intelligence ring operating throughout the revolutionary war, a ring that invented by necessity many of the tactics still faithfully and productively employed by intelligence agencies...more
WC Beaver
George Washington truly was the force behind the revolution, for without his fortitude and perseverance we Americans would still be drinking tea at four in the afternoon with an extended pinkie wondering how we would continue to afford it.

George, not the most clever and resourceful general in American history, needed help and knew it from the early glory days in Boston in 1775, where the British fleet absconded the harbor after the humiliation of Breed's Hill, to invade and capture New York. Was...more
Karen
George Washington's Secret Six includes research of the six secret spies working during the American Revolution when General Washington had to retreat from New York City in August 1776. He knew he couldn't beat the British with military strength but recruited a group of six spies, the Culper Spy Ring to sneak into New York.
Very little is known about these American Revolution heroes:
Robert Townsend: Headed the Culper Ring. Quaker merchant.
Austin Roe: Tavern keeper
Caleb Brewster: Longshoreman who...more
Jack
The events of George Washington's Secret Six takes place during our nation's fight for independence from British tyranny. George Washington is faced with a dilemma. In order to win the war, it is vital for the colonies to have control of the assets provided by New York City. Unfortunately, the British are in control of the city and Washington does not have the strength in numbers in order to drive out the redcoats. Instead, Washington puts together a spy network known as the Culper Spy Ring to g...more
Oswego Public Library District
This book tells the gripping true story of the Culper Spy Ring, a group of six spies based in and around New York City that provided crucial pieces of intelligence to General George Washington during the American Revolution. These spies were average colonial citizens to the outside world, attempting to go about their lives as normally as possible in British occupied New York. Behind these exteriors, they worked to put together a seamless system of counterintelligence. The book goes into how the...more
Jenn
The book was interesting and fairly well-written/easy to read. That said, the author assumes a lot, even going so far as to acknowledge that many of the conversations he writes about are fictional, so while the reader can for the most part decipher what is fact (such as real letters and real diary entries) and what is not, we are still left wondering exactly how much was left to the authors' interpretation, which I guess is ok since we are relying on their extensive research to come to believabl...more
Craig Patton
This was a thoroughly enjoyable and an easy read about a very important part of American History that I knew absolutely nothing about.

I freely admit that while I am an avid reader of history, I rarely, if even, read up on the American Revolution, however; I believe this should be a must read as it shines a light upon the average, every day citizens and how they were instrumental in helping to create a free and independent United States of America.

The manner in which this is written and told make...more
Douglass Gaking
This is a fantastic story! However, in this case it is written in a somewhat amateur fashion. Kilmeade and Yaeger, better known for their sports writing, are not real historians. One is a pundit for Fox News Channel, and the other writes those books you find in the bargain section at Barnes & Noble for the arbitrary price of $6.98. There are moments in reading this book when I feel like I am helping my wife grade high school English papers. The obviously fictional dialog and other moments th...more
Jean
Jul 08, 2014 Jean rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Best seller list
Recommended to Jean by: No one
Just awful. I had a tedious list of things to do and so I did them listening to this dreadful book. The subject of the book--the spy ring developed by George Washington--is interesting, but the authors submerge it within their popularized, unnuanced account of the Revolutionary War, which expresses outrage and amazement at every opportunity about Britain's desire to keep the American colonies in its empire. It is usually a mistake for an author to read his own book, and this is certainly true he...more
Laura Bray
A terrific story that no one has heard of.....well, until the AMC series "Turn" anyway. (Also worth a gander, BTW.)

The Culper spy ring operated in and around New York and made all sorts of intelligence coups (I won't tell you which ones, so as not to spoil, but you'll be familiar with at least one story).

Well researched and written, it's told pretty much in chronological order. It's amazing, given that they were spies and tended not to call attention to themselves (and didn't use their real nam...more
Sam
Good book, and quick read, regarding George Washington's spy ring, of six patriots, in the NY (Long Island) area, during the Revolution. Author goes into detail how they were chosen, how they did their job, and how they essentially set the stage for today's CIA. It also goes into the mind of George Washington, the information that he needed, and how he took the greatest of care in ensuring that no one would ever find out who the six were; finally revealed after independence was won for the forme...more
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As cohost of FOX & Friends, the number one rated morning program on cable television for the past nine years, Brian Kilmeade shares his unique perspective on the daily news. He has interviewed the biggest names in politics, sports and entertainment, often securing exclusive content.

Kilmeade played a large part in FOX ís coverage of September 11th, as well as coverage including reporting from w...more
More about Brian Kilmeade...
The Games Do Count: America's Best and Brightest on the Power of Sports It's How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America's Finest It's How You Play the Game/The Games Do Count: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America's Finest/America's Best and Brightest on the Power of Sports

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“Their humility stopped them from seeking fame or fortune because their love of country sparked their exploits.” 1 likes
“There were plots afoot—plans of deceit, treason, and betrayal—and the only hope the Americans had to survive them was to be prepared. Washington knew that New York City was of the utmost strategic importance from a military perspective, but even he could not anticipate how crucial the intelligence collected there would be in saving the cause for liberty. And neither side, American nor British, could yet imagine just how deep the treachery reached within its own ranks.” 0 likes
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