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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

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,412 Ratings  ·  1,117 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
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Kyle I've only gotten a few chapters in however it exaggerates the narrative and elevates the founders of the US to Heroic stature. It also take a very…moreI've only gotten a few chapters in however it exaggerates the narrative and elevates the founders of the US to Heroic stature. It also take a very simple view as to what many of the catalyst of the Revolutionary war.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Michael Sypes No, don't waste your time beyond checking out the references in the back to perhaps find books worth reading

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 14, 2014 Art rated it it was ok
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
Jason Koivu
May 26, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, war
"I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." - Nathan Hale, American Revolution Spy.

"I only regret that I have but one life in which to read I am DONE with this muthafucker." - Jason Koivu, American Reader.

American Revolution history? Insights into early intelligence agents? "I like those things!" I would've shouted had I not been in the middle of the library when I found this on the shelves and did a little dance.

Brian Kilmeade's George Washington's Secret Six rea
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
Brandon Yoder
Dec 07, 2013 Brandon Yoder rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Feb 07, 2014 Katie rated it did not like it
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
Jan 11, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 21, 2014 Arminius rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
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
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
Feb 16, 2014 April rated it it was ok
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
Dec 11, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it
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
Apr 27, 2014 Candy rated it it was amazing
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.
This had potential but the narrator of the audio went all over the place.

Marilee Turscak
Nov 07, 2013 Marilee Turscak rated it it was amazing
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
Douglass Gaking
Jun 30, 2014 Douglass Gaking rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
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
Oct 12, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned very early about George Washington, Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, etc. It was not until recently that I learned that Washington had a spy ring ... the Culper Ring organized by Benjamin Tallmadge to obtain information on British activity in and around New York city. The Culper Ring provided valuable information to Washington including that the British planned a surprise attack on the allied French force at Newport, that the British planned to counterfeit American currency, and that a hi ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Raven rated it did not like it
I thought I wanted to read this book. Unfortunately, I think what I actually wanted was to read the primary sources of this book. I really disliked the creative writing aspects of the authors' reading into history, presenting the thoughts of historical figures as if they knew what they were. The writing style reminded me very much of the Value Tales that I loved as a child, in that it had a strong moral message and was written for the reading level of a third grader. For a book covering new hist ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Jill rated it did not like it
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
Mary Louise Sanchez
Jun 14, 2014 Mary Louise Sanchez rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Aug 18, 2016 Ron rated it liked it
Shelves: history, maps, non-fiction
“Slow but credible intelligence was better than fast but muddled--or no intelligence at all.”

A good (true) story, well told. A wealth of direct quotes from primary sources. Dumbed down for today’s readers, but you expect that from a reporter. The title hyperbole is typical. Several minor factual errors undercut credibility of things hard to verify.

“Washington, whom generations of schoolchildren would later know as a man who ‘could not tell a lie’ couldn’t help but be pleased” he’d misled Clinton
Carolyn Appleton
Jan 05, 2014 Carolyn Appleton rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 08, 2014 Historyrulz61 rated it it was ok
I am an American History teacher and was so excited to find this book on the current best-sellers list. I am also a huge George fan (one of my history hunks) and intrigued by the topic and title. Dispensed with this intro, let me say I was hugely disappointed in this book. I had to force myself to finish it! The writing was dry, sophomoric and convoluted. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight and had to keep referring to the blurb. The authors would throw in contrived fictional dialo ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2014 Sherry rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 30, 2014 Sally rated it it was amazing
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.
Tegan Mae
I have never heard of George Washington's spy ring, so this was interesting in that aspect. A bit repetitive and sometimes seems to gloss over some aspects. Not boring over all, but some slow parts. Very interesting tidbits throughout that I am interested in learning more about. One of my favorite things was learning that Washington himself was a spy during the French and Indian war.

Read for an adult book discussion at the library. Most readers felt about the same as I did. Enjoyed relating how
Jul 28, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok
I grabbed this book when the book I wanted on the same subject wasn't available at the library. I was immediately distracted while reading this by long stretches that were presented like historical fiction -- dialogue between figures, including so-and-so's quick grin, eager reaction, etc. -- which I found irritating in a book that began (and most often tried to remain) nonfiction. The back and forth switch from a straight-up historical recounting to these fanciful reconstructions was disjointed. ...more
Suzanne Skelly
Aug 07, 2014 Suzanne Skelly rated it really liked it
Truly one of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read in a long time.

After the sudden capture and execution of Nathan Hale, George Washington realizes the need to create a very specialized spy ring to help in the Patriots efforts in the Revolutionary War. He rallied together a little known , top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. All six of these people were ordinary citizens who developed a system of espionage which provided information about the British Troops and their activity
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
Mark Wilder
Oct 07, 2015 Mark Wilder added it
Shelves: abandoned
I didn't realize this was by Fox & Friend's Brian Kilmeade, who I am biased against because I think he's a moron. It's supposed to be historical fiction, I guess, but it was annoyingly written. Once I got to a passage (only a few minutes in) where God intervened to help George Washington escape Manhattan, I just decided to stop. I can't do the "God loves the USA more than other countries" bullshit. I was also sure it would dive deep into American Exceptionalism at some point. If I'm just goi ...more
Mary Adams
Feb 20, 2016 Mary Adams rated it really liked it
George Washington's Secret Six is an engaging, easy read that tells the story of a little-known spy ring that was arguably essential to the American victory in the war for independence. If you would rather read about historical people and personalities than battle plans and troop movements, this is the book for you.

My only argument with the book is whether one could truly consider it non-fiction or whether it is more fictionalized fiction. There are references with descriptions given at the bac
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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 about Brian Kilmeade...

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“Their humility stopped them from seeking fame or fortune because their love of country sparked their exploits.” 2 likes
“remained for more than forty years, until it was disinterred and returned to England to be buried with military honors at Westminster Abbey. BACK IN MANHATTAN News of Arnold’s betrayal, as well as André’s capture and execution, sent shock waves through all of the colonies, but nowhere was the impact more keenly felt than in New York City. Even Robert Townsend found himself deeply moved by the death of one of the very men on whom he had spied. “I never felt more sensibly for” 0 likes
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