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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

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,525 ratings  ·  682 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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Ruth I haven't finished the book. I like the topic. For me it is not quite what I expected; it reads too much like a text book.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Suzanne Skelly
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
...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.
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
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
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
Donald Powell
A fun book about an important part of the revolutionary war. In all my study of the era this is the first I recall of this effort/spy ring. I hope this field gets more study and illumination. I held back one star for lack of details about the spies' lives though that may be unfair given what the historians could find.
Dallas
A nice little perspective of American history, there is nothing in the book that romanticizes spying and I like that. 'Twas simply an anxious business with high stakes. A good read.
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
Jim
The story of the original American spy ring for Washington in New York City during the American Revolution. Improbable and unheralded heroes who put their lives on the line for an idea called freedom.

Most of these people never received recognition for their service. One is still unknown. But the author here has ferreted out a fascinating story of this ring's creation and execution of invaluable missions that allowed Washington again and again to evade and extend until the war could be won.

A re
...more
Rachel
Well worth reading. I wonder who Agent 355 really was?
Booklover, Indianapolis
(Feb) I'm not a big fan of non fiction, and while history can be interesting, I can't say I love reading about wars. But, we chose this for bookclub and I figured I'd give it a try. Spies are cool, right? Well, not so much here. This book could have easily been called "A really super brief overview of the Revolutionary War and I'll throw in a few spies and a bunch about Benedict Arnold." I was at 17% of the book and there were still no spies! (reminds me of when I tried - twice - to read Captain ...more
Aimeslee
Feb 07, 2015 Aimeslee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any student of American history
Recommended to Aimeslee by: my own research
I'd seen A&E's great series "Turn" last year and just recently watched THC's even greater series "Sons of Liberty". Then I read this book, Washington's Secret Six. I feel like I was well-oiled to love reading this and I was. The three merged up together in me pretty well, haha. So I kind of feel like I had an unfair advantage to like the book, but I love American history and that's a fine way to do it. So no complaints here. (Both shows are available at their respective network websites to w ...more
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
If I had to sum this book up in one word it would be FASCINATING! I've enjoyed reading about American history my whole life and I would say that I know quite a bit about George Washington, but Brian and Don's book has introduced another side of this great general and later president. I was immediately struck by the honesty that Washington put forth in his shortcomings and outright failures. Without that character trait our nation could have easily been turned in a different direction.

While I lov
...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 Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates

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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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