Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War” as Want to Read:
George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  523 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Now in paperback—the award-winning National Geographic book that presents the untold story of the invisible war behind the American Revolution. A riveting tale of intrigue, spies, counterspies and secret agents, George Washington, Spymasteris a unique and entertaining account of one of the most important chapters in our nation's history. The compelling narrative reveals th ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by National Geographic Children's Books (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about George Washington, Spymaster, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about George Washington, Spymaster

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,030)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Steven Stickler
George Washington was a SPY?!

One simple thought struck me about halfway through this book: this is not the Revolutionary War I learned about when I was a kid. Not even close. I vaguely remember learning about the many problems folks in America had with King George (so many, in fact, that they made a list). There were lessons about the desire for independence, about military strategy, muskets, and a guy riding around on a horse waking people up. Don’t even get me started on the military commander
My husband insisted on buying this book at the Mount Vernon bookshop even though it is intended for children. Well, I ended up reading it before he did and found it to be an easy, enjoyable read about spies during the Revolutionary War. This is exactly the kind of book that I enjoyed as a child (I LOVED the Dear America series). This book is full of interesting snippets of history that often get left out from more traditional history narratives. Who doesn't love a story about a woman throwing ba ...more
For a man who "couldn't tell a lie," Washington was pretty deceptive.

Also, he didn't tolerate the deception of others very well, as there were a lot of hangings going on.

The book doesn't deal with Washington as much as it does the spies he handled. (I'm using handled there ambiguously - did you catch that? Handled as in "is in charge of" as well as in "dispatched." Not too shabby...)

It was nice reading this after reading The Notorious Benedict Arnold last year and The Inner Circle the year befor
Laura Verret
Military secrets! Double agents! Undercover missions! Betrayal, intrigue – espionage.

If any of that up there sounded exciting to you, or if you happen to be a fan of the American War for Independence, then George Washington, Spymaster is the book for you!

Most books about the American Revolution focus on the philosophical causes for the war, or the politically charged atmosphere which surrounded its necessity. Some talk about the famous figures who spurred on that war, or the important battles th
Brayden Campbell
This book in the beginning I figured was going to be a very boring read. But as i continued to read the book, I began to learn a lot about how George Washington was in his life. I found it to be very interesting to learn about the man that started our country in which we live in. I feel that it was very informative but if I had a choice of reading this book again I don't think that i would read it again.


Date Finished: 2/24/15
It's rather like a picture book version of Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring and would be better for younger people. However, the fact that it had codes hidden in the margins, and that it used a Colonial type gave it bonus points.
Nov 11, 2007 Meagan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of American history
This book tells the story of the Revolutionary War from the angle of the spies who helped win it. The story of America's first spies lends the history a sense of adventure and an immediacy that's lacking in so many historical books for children, making this an excellent choice for kids who have trouble enjoying history. In addition, the book is well-researched and includes the web addresses where readers can find the original letters and journals online. Finally, readers can get involved with th ...more
Max R
Nov 17, 2014 Max R marked it as to-read
For my nonfiction book, I chose George Washington, Spymaster. A nonfiction book is a talks about a subject and everything in it is completely true, nothing is made up. George Washington, Spymaster is a nonfiction book about the American Revolution that tells a story of how George Washington outspied the British and won the Revolutionary War. It explains that he did this by setting up a huge spy network and knew exactly what was going to happen. This book covers almost every historic person or pl ...more
This is such a cool book! I had no idea that spying was such an important part of the Revolutionary War. This little book is informative and interesting for anyone, say, 5th grade on up. The subtitle on the front sums up the whole book: “How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War”. The brilliant mastermind was our own Gen. George Washington. He was a remarkable man, a determined general, and absolutely instrumental in America’s independence.

Two great quotes: George Was
Scott Dunham
Nov 06, 2008 Scott Dunham rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young people interested in History
Recommended to Scott by: Local library chose it for a Book Study group
My 10 year old son and I read this together before bedtime, and we devoured it over 3 nights! I've studied the Revolutionary War just a bit, but never realized how much espionage and plain old fooling the British Army played a role in our becoming a Nation!

This book touched on Benedict Arnold, so now we've gone and checked out 3 more books on the man whose name has become synonymous with "TRAITOR"! My son wants to know what happened to Arnold. Sounds like it all could make a great movie someday
Denise Ortakales
This is a wonderfully designed little book–feels good in your hands, pages have deckled edges, uses a font reminiscent of the time, and the jacket is printed in letterpress. I can see where kids, especially boys, would get caught up in the whole spy thing; there are codes to decipher throughout the whole book. Kudos to National Geographic for making history fun!
George Washington, Spymaster was a fascinating account of an aspect of the Revolutionary War that we hardly ever hear about! We do hear of Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, Major Andre, but of the many other unsung heroes and villains of secrecy? Not so much, or not at all. In fact, the circles of spies and double agents--run by George Washington and/or several delegated friends barely managed to stay ahead of similar agents sent out by the British generals. But--they did stay ahead, and one British ...more
I'm not a big fan of reading history but this book is so cool! It's a different take on the American Revolution by talking about how George Washington was a spy with many undercover agents working on both sides. I wish my American History textbooks were written this way.
Great spy information used during the Revolutionary War. Major George Beckwith, head of British Intelligence in America noted: "Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!"
Which is a great compliment considering they couldn't understand how the ragtag farmers were able to fight the battle for so long. So not only did they hold their own in battle, they were outwitted.
George Washington wrote in 1776 "There is one evile I dread, and that is, their spies."
Spy codes includ
*Mitten Award Honor Book*
Not only does this book have great information on Washington's network of spies, it also gives sample codes and coded messages throughout. What a fun way to learn about codemaking, history, strategy and more!
Janet Macreery
Walking through the National Portrait Gallery in DC, the huge portrait of George Washington greeted us as we entered the Presidential Portraits section. My eight-year-old nephew pointed excitedly at the painting and proudly announced that he knew who that man was. A spy!

Thomas B. Allen has done a wonderful job of taking a complex subject that was designed to be difficult to understand and making it accessible. Don't make the mistake of thinking George Washington, Spymaster is "just for kids." A
Lora Innes
This little book is so much fun! A very quick read, but original and entertaining!
Many people know George Washington’s adventures as a General, and his presidential years are also well known. But did you know that Washington had one of the best spy rings in the world? And did you know that General Howe of the British said the thing he feared most about Washington was his spies? This book will open up the world of espionage during the Revolution, and and show you how George Washington was a great general, president, but also a great spymaster.

Comments: Let me say this about th
I would not recommend this book for children. This book deals with a LOT of different people, and the author is not good at reminding the reader who these people are when they show up again. The main problem is that the scope of this book is just too big, making the content overwhelmingly detailed and specific. The language itself is appropriate for children between 10 and 12, but no child would ever read this book unless it was assigned because it is confusing, deals with too many people, and d ...more
While this book had a cool premise and lots of great resources I felt it was dry, too brief, and confusing as a result. I am all about the spy world and so learning about a founding father through that lens was neat.

The book is aimed at young readers and maybe if they were already studying the Revolutionary War this would make sense to them. However, I felt like there were so many names thrown at me with little sense of who they were or how they connected. It was a lot to keep track of and it ju
Listened to this one with my kids on audiobook during a car trip . . . I would give it 3 1/2 stars if I could. It took a while before the story caught my full attention. That could be due to distraction however. Toward the late middle of the book I was hooked, interested in what Washington did next to win whatever battle . . . lots of spy stuff! The book paints George Washington as not only an army general, but an expert in intelligence operations -- which in the author's opinion is what won the ...more
Catherine Chauncey
"George Washington, Spymaster" is a non-fiction book telling stories of the Revolutionary War and how George Washington organized spies to steal information from the British and win the war.

It is interesting to read, but is difficult to read recreationally. It fits every category for a young adult nonfiction book. It has a narrative format with strong attention to characters and setting, presumes no prior knowledge to the subject; hence, it provides adequate background information, and includes
This book showed a different perspective on the Revolutionary War. When we sit through a history class, we don't think about our forefathers being spies in order to win the war. After reading this book, things make a lot more sense.

Also, I found it interesting that Benedict Arnold was a war hero and a trusted general to Washington until his great demise as a traitor. We also don't hear about that in the history books either.
Mr. Kovach
This book was very interesting because I like to read books about George Washington.
It talked about how he wasn't just a general, but a master of spies. He sent spies
all over the country to help him win the American Revolution. His spies stole
secrets from the British, so he knew where they would be before he had to
fight them. This was very important because the British actually had a
stronger and better-trained army than we did, so he needed a tactical advantage.
He also used his spies to fool the
Thomas B. Allen's survey of spying during the Revolutionary War is thorough and concise, providing interesting information for younger teens interested in the subject. However, the editing and grammar in some places left something to be desired. Basic things were ignored, like avoiding the usage of 'and' as the first word in a sentence. While that doesn't usually matter much in children's books, at this age, it would be better to provide teens something more grammatically correct.

I'd recommend
Jo Sorrell
Battle of the Books 2013. I don't feel most middle schoolers will enjoy this book unless they are really into history. It was enlightning for me about George Washington being so much more than our first president and his dental issues. He was a master spy and that according to this account is what won the war;the spy ane espionage aspect. After I read the book, I happened to be at The Henry Ford Museum and got to see some of the artifacts mentioned in the book. That was a WOW moment for me.
In th
Pretty cool little history book about Washington and his use of deception and spies which helped the Patriots win the war against the British. It offers a good overview of who the main players were on both sides and to what lengths they went to outspy each other. Enjoyable and educational.
I liked this book. It was a bit confusing in parts but trying to cover all the spies in Revolutionary War is confusing. I would definitely recommend this book. And, pretty short read-in a pervious time in my life, it would have been an afternoon read!
Jonathan Aman
My wife and I are big fans of the AMC series TURN. She borrowed this audio book from the library interested in the connection, and we were shocked to hear the stories of every last character in the tv series. The information is all so fascinating.
Rebecca Kilby
Even though the primary focus was spying, this was one of the best histories of the American Revolution for children that I've ever read. It even had citations, copies of the code Tallmage used and spiffy codes hidden throughout the book for you to decipher.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story
  • The Crossing: How George Washington Saved The American Revolution
  • Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution
  • Trapped
  • The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital
  • King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
  • Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
  • Left for Dead
  • Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution
  • The War to End All Wars: World War I
  • George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides
  • Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth
  • Desert Places
  • Allure
  • Elizabeth Rex
  • Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge
  • George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency
  • Traitor: the Case of Benedict Arnold
Thomas B. Allen's writings range from articles for National Geographic Magazine to books on espionage and military history.
He is the father of Roger MacBride Allen.
More about Thomas B. Allen...
Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism Tories Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War Mr. Lincoln's High-tech War Thomas Allen: Uncovered

Share This Book