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Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution
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Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  6 reviews
During the American Revolution, espionage was critical to the successes and failures of both Continental and British efforts, and those employed in cloakand- dagger operations always risked death. While the most notorious episode of spying during the war—the Benedict Arnold affair—was a failure, most intelligence operations succeeded. Spycraft was no more wholly embraced t ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by Westholme Publishing (first published November 11th 2009)
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Ugh, I'm torn between two and three stars on this one. I hate giving nonfiction books low marks, because even if I didn't "like" the book, chances are it still fulfilled its primary job of teaching me something new. That's certainly true about this one - I knew zero about spycraft during the American Revolution, and now I know more. So in that respect, the book was a success.

However, I just couldn't get into the book as a whole. It was very choppy. The author chose to split the book up by type
Kristi Thielen
Having read many books about the generals of the American Revolution, the politics of the time, the battles, the public opinion - it was interesting to read about the spycraft that went on at the time. Ciphers, codes and the shining and not-so-shining people who employed them - effectively or not - provides a whole new take on how the war progressed and was fought.

It's also great fun to learn about the deception that that Americans employed to fool the British spies they knew were everywhere. M
Rachel Rogers
Fascinating book about the various types of espionage used by both (all) sides in the American Revolution. Goes into a little too much detail on the different codes and ciphers used - the better part of 2 chapters interspersed with codes, one or 2 examples might have been easier to tolerate. It got confusing with the differentiation between who was spying for whom. For some reason British Spy versus Rebel/American Spy confused me. The concluding chapter on deceptive plans was, perhaps, the stron ...more
Kim Lacey
I couldn't get into this one, and I'm pretty bummed about it. I usually devour real life espionage/spycraft books, but this one was much too choppy. I should've listened to some reviewers who warned of that issue. It's almost like the author threw all of his research into categories with little (useful) contextualization. Oh, well.
Be prepared...this book is incredibly cool, but INCREDIBLY DRY in the author's writing style. I do think the author could have made it pop because it was interesting to look at the ingenuity which both sides employed during the Revolutionary War.
Taylor Stoermer
As solid an overview of the practice of espionage in the Revolutionary War as there is. A much-needed contribution to the literature in the field.
Jun 08, 2012 Jerry rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buff only
Very interesting but a little dry.
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John A. Nagy was born in Perth Amboy, NJ. He is an expert in antique documents, a consultant for the William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan on espionage, and a Scholar in Residence at Saint Francis University, Loretto, Pennsylvania. He is President of the American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia and has appeared on the History Channel, C-Span, local educational TV, and th ...more
More about John A. Nagy...
Dr. Benjamin Church, Spy: A Case of Espionage on the Eve of the American Revolution Spies in the Continental Capital: Espionage Across Pennsylvania During the American Revolution Rebellion in the Ranks: Mutinies of the American Revolution

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