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

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

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by Thomas B. Allen
 

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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

Overview

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 the surprising role played by the first commander-in-chief, General George Washington in the War of Independence.

Follow the action as 1775 dawns, and Washington finds himself in serious trouble. At war with Britain, the world's most powerful empire, his ragtag army possesses only a few muskets, some cannons, and no money. The Americans' only hope is to wage an invisible war—a war of spies, intelligence networks, and deception.

Enter the shadowy world of double agents, covert operations, codes and ciphers—a world so secret that America's spymaster himself doesn't know the identities of some of his agents. Meet members of the elusive Culper Ring, uncover a "mole" in the Sons of Liberty, and see how invisible ink and even a clothesline are used to send secret messages. You can even use Washington's own secret codebook, published here for the first time. Experience at close quarters the successes and failures of the Americans as they strive to outwit the British. Meet the chief of covert operations, one Benjamin Franklin, and several other surprising players in America's secret war.

Author Thomas B. Allen has sifted through dozens of historical documents and coded letters to uncover the facts about a time shrouded in secrets. Archival art, coupled with lively pen-and-ink sketches by children's illustrator Cheryl Harness, detail all the action and adventure of this momentous tale. Like the highly acclaimed hardback, this little paperback is sure to have a big impact on the imagination of readers everywhere.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Espionage, it seems, with its codes and ciphers, dead drops and moles, was alive and well back in 1775, when Gen. Washington realized he could never win the coming war by arms alone. A fascinating and original book by a local author. — Elizabeth Ward
Children's Literature
This fascinating account of espionage during the Revolutionary War should be gobbled up by young history buffs as well as anyone delighted by codes and ciphers and the elaborate ruses of devious and daring spies. "One if by land, two if by sea" is only the most famous of the Revolutionary War's exploits of espionage and counter-espionage. Readers will learn about messages coded on laundry lines (where black petticoats and white handkerchiefs carried secret meanings), different kinds of invisible ink, masked messages hidden within ordinary-seeming missives, "accidentally" dropped balls of yarn, and a message swallowed in a silver ball. George Washington was an accomplished spymaster, as was Benjamin Franklin, from his post in Paris; Benedict Arnold's treacherous espionage has made his name synonymous with "traitor." The book is produced to look like an eighteenth-century printed leaflet, complete with the use of an (updated) period typeface. The fun continues with a glossary of spy terms, appendix on how to decipher one important Revolutionary War code, lively and engaging footnotes often directing readers to relevant websites, and guide to the various secret codes hidden throughout the book itself. This one is a winner—or should I say, borrowing Major Talmadge's letter-substitution cipher, a "ycppil"! 2004, National Geographic, Ages 8 up.
—Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Codes and ciphers, invisible ink and secret messages, spies and counterspies! Covert operations win the Revolutionary War under mastermind Washington in this intriguing take on early American history. Allen presents the facts with a gleeful edge, clearly enjoying his subject and writing with vigor. The author relates the main events of the Revolution chronologically, consistently revealing the shadowy role of intelligence and counterintelligence. Members of the Culper Ring, the "mole" in the Sons of Liberty, and daring women worked as spies, fighting on the secret front where Patriots and Tories looked and sounded alike. Washington's role as spymaster adds a fascinating and fresh perspective on the life of this revered founding father who did far more than cross the Delaware. This small-format book looks like a publication from the 1700s. Set in an antique typeface, it is well illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of archival art and Harness's charming pen-and-ink sketches. Messages written in the Talmadge code (1783) appear throughout, with a key in the appendix. Even the chapter titles are historically appropriate, such as "Franklin's French Friends. IN WHICH a wise man from Philadelphia goes to Paris and outfoxes spies of two nations." This is well-documented, appealing history. It's a good companion to Shannon Zemlicka's Nathan Hale, Patriot Spy (Carolrhoda, 2002), which offers similar coverage on a famous Patriot whose work as a spy cost him his life.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426300417
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
01/09/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
128,747
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Thomas B. Allen is the author of 30 books on subjects ranging from military history to sharks. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, where is a founding member of the Writer's Center. Visit Thomas B. Allen on the web at www.tballen.com.

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George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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History-Fan More than 1 year ago
I knew about this book when my teacher from Primary 3rd grade year sent me this book to me as a gift. I tried out and it was cool book. I kept reading it like 20 times. Is so much fun and tells the strategies of George Washington and his Continental Army's spying techniques against British. The book is still amazing and it has cool illustrations. It includes who were involved with the American Revolution. You'll know many women here that was also considered patriots and characters who sided England. Is very awesome and comes with a map of the important battles. Is very nice book to read and I always thank her because of this cool book.