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

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Overview

A biography of Revolutionary War general and first President of the United States, George Washington, focusing on his use of spies to gather intelligence that helped the colonies win the war.

A biography of Revolutionary War general and first President of the United States, George Washington, focusing on his use of spies to gather intelligence that helped the colonies win the war.

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Washington, DC 2004 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. New Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 184 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

A biography of Revolutionary War general and first President of the United States, George Washington, focusing on his use of spies to gather intelligence that helped the colonies win the war.

A biography of Revolutionary War general and first President of the United States, George Washington, focusing on his use of spies to gather intelligence that helped the colonies win the war.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792251262
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1100L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.19 (h) x 0.71 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Detailed Facts of American History.

    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.

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    Posted September 20, 2010

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    Posted December 14, 2010

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    Posted August 2, 2010

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