George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

( 126 )

Overview

From the cohost of Fox & Friends, the true story of the anonymous spies who helped win the Revolutionary War
 
Among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution, six names are missing. First and foremost, Robert Townsend, an unassuming and respected businessman from Long Island, who spearheaded the spy ring that covertly brought down the British…before they, or...

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George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

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Overview

From the cohost of Fox & Friends, the true story of the anonymous spies who helped win the Revolutionary War
 
Among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution, six names are missing. First and foremost, Robert Townsend, an unassuming and respected businessman from Long Island, who spearheaded the spy ring that covertly brought down the British…before they, or anyone else, could discover their names.
 
Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger finally give Townsend and his fellow spies their proper due, telling the fascinating story of how they passed information to George Washington that turned the tide of the war. Using a network of citizen operatives that included a longshoreman, bartender, newspaper editor, housewife, tailor, and femme fatale, and employing a series of complex codes, the so-called Culper Spy Ring used sophisticated tactics to subvert the British.
 
Based on previously unpublished research, George Washington’s Secret Six is a gripping history of these amazing, anonymous Patriots who risked their lives for our freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
03/01/2014
This history of six of George Washington's spies in New York during the American Revolution covers fascinating material but does so with a flawed execution. Kilmeade (It's How You Play the Game) and Yaeger (Greatness) tell the story of five men and one woman, whose identity is still unknown, in British-occupied New York, who were working to pass military secrets to Washington in the time between the invasion of New York and the British withdrawal at the end of the war. Washington himself plays a relatively minor role here as the instigator of the enterprise and the recipient of the spies' work. The book's climax is the thwarting of Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point. The authors are fond of hyperbole and superlatives, even when subtlety or complexity are called for. They also made the questionable choice to include fictionalized conversations, which are quite stilted. Kilmeade narrates, and his vocal style is to speak as though every sentence is the most important. VERDICT Only for fans of Kilmeade.—Tristan M. Boyd, Westbank Community Lib., Austin, TX
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
A history of the Culper Spy Ring, without which, the authors argue, the Americans would not have won the Revolutionary War. Nathan Hale was America's first spy, and his execution forced Gen. George Washington to find a man who could develop a spy ring to help him drive the British from New York. Fox & Friends host Kilmeade (It's How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments that Taught Lasting Values to America's Finest, 2007, etc.) and Yaeger (Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions, 2011, etc.) were fortunate to have the research of Morton Pennypacker. He was Long Island's premier historian and the man who, in 1929, identified the group's most important member, Robert Townsend (1753–1838). Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge was Washington's choice to develop his spy network, and the six spies he recruited had an immense effect on the outcome of the war. The first task was to invent pseudonyms, and they established codes and solid back stories, used dead drops and compartmentalized intelligence. The work they did in Manhattan and Long Island exposed not only a British attempt to destroy the American economy, but also Benedict Arnold's treachery. In one of their final acts, they managed to get the British naval codebook, an act that turned the tide at the Battle of Yorktown. In the five-year period during which the ring operated, only one of their members was exposed. That she was a woman is the only clue to her identity, though there's a suggestion that she hung her laundry in such a way as to pass information on troop movements. While Kilmeade and Yaeger don't provide deep analysis, the narrative should please enthusiastic fans of the upheaval surrounding the founding of the United States. In a slim, quick-moving book, the authors bring attention to a group that exerted an enormous influence over events during the Revolutionary War.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611762273
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Pages: 5
  • Sales rank: 113,448
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Kilmeade

Brian Kilmeade cohosts Fox News Channel’s morning show Fox & Friends and hosts the nationally syndicated radio show Kilmeade & Friends. The author of two previous books about sports, he lives on Long Island.
 
Don Yaeger has written twenty-three books, including seven New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 126 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2013

    An easy-flowing short read, full facts without bogging down in m

    An easy-flowing short read, full facts without bogging down in minutia. History buffs will enjoy details of the way spies of the time operated and passed on the results of their intrigue, as well as details of the British plots and near misses, including Benedict Arnold. The rest of us learn more about the early years of the birth of our nation, men and women who risked all, and how close we came to failure.

    The Loyalists and the Patriots each had spies during the American Revolution. Relying on historical documents and previous research, the authors follow a group known at the Culpers that operated on Long Island, in New York City, and in Connecticut during the British occupation of NYC 1776 -1783. Their names were known to but a necessary few at the time -- thorough historical research has ultimately revealed all but one, agent 355, a woman.


    35 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Awesome book about a little known group in history that you won'

    Awesome book about a little known group in history that you won't read about in high school or college. Interesting parallels of spying linking the past to the present especially in light of the NSA scandals. Great read!

    25 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    This book is endlessly fascinating. For as detail-oriented and t

    This book is endlessly fascinating. For as detail-oriented and thorough it is, it's an easy read. I read it in nearly one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I will be giving this as holiday gifts to all the history buffs in my life. I can't wait to re-read it! 

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2014

    Caution, not everything in this book is true.

    This book is a very difficult book to read because his accurate accounts are overshadowed by some astounding inaccuracies. I have found myself checking primary sources in order to counter some of his more outrageous statements. By the author's own admission, conversations were made up, therefore this book should be classified as fiction.

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    An incredible and powerful read that is sure to open your eyes t

    An incredible and powerful read that is sure to open your eyes to many previously untold details about the American Revolution. Kilmeade paints of vivid picture for readers leaving no detail untold. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages. Truly has something for everyone.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    I just started reading this book and let me tell you, this guy i

    I just started reading this book and let me tell you, this guy is a rank armature and has many facts WRONG He starts by touting Townsend as the "big cheese" in this operation. Wrong. In fact he only joined the group in June 1779, a whole yer after the group was established by Tallmadge., The after the loss of the battle of Brooklyn, he quickly has Washington fleeing to Manhattan and the to Connecticut. Wrong again.After loosing Fort Lee, Washington retreated to New Jursey, and then finally to Valley Forge. Where does this guy get his info from. As a resident of Setauket LI, I have know about this group and its activities for many years. This is NOT a new discovery by any means. I would suggest the Mr Kilmeade do more research, specifically talking the Setauket historical Society, and get his facts straight! .

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    less factual then advertised

    I bought this book for my husband who loves American History. He read one chapter and said that the historical facts were changed (about George Washington) to suit the authors' "take" on history. He put the book down and won't be reading it. Frankly I was disappointed that this surprise turned out to be such a dud. Well, you know, there are always people who will rewrite history to make the points they want to make. Too bad. Then I looked more closely at the authors and shrugged, it figures.

    8 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Great

    Terrific insight of the beginning of our exceptional country and the people who built it. People who did not ask what their country could do for them but asked what they could do for their country.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Couldnt put it down. Exciting and informative. Full of patriot

    Couldnt put it down. Exciting and informative. Full of patriotic fervor and lessons of individual sacrifice. The stuff that makes us all proud to be Americans.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2014

    What qualifies Kilmeade to write history???  Since Fox started l

    What qualifies Kilmeade to write history???  Since Fox started letting their tv hosts hawk books on the air for free, O'Reilly is churning out "history" books in assembly line fashion while somehow hosting a show every day.  Kilmeade writes about sports, now decides he's an historian.  

    What's next?  Gretchen Carlson with a definitive rewrite on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?  Why get your "history" from a morning show host.  I guess they think "history" is the easiest and safest medium for their self-promoted money-makers.

    6 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Don't bother a lot of jumbled poorly arranged facts!

    Kilmeade did do some research ,A lot of facts thrown together ,boring .I really looked forward to reading it.He should stick to his day job and leave the writing to someone who knows what they are doing.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Its ok

    Found the authors to be vague in their descriptions
    That being said i was glad to learn about these un sung heroes

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Historical fiction

    This book is an interesting, easy read that fails in that the author makes bold and unfounded statements that purport to be historical fact.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    3 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    Recommend!

    This is a great historical work that blends an extremely interesting story with good writing.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    An interesting book that uncovers some of the covert operations

    An interesting book that uncovers some of the covert operations that occurred during the American Revolution and ultimately helped shape our history. Great for any history buffs or spy novel enthusiasts! Grab a copy and flip through it yourself!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Great read.

    Great read.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I bought the Audiobook and I've only made it to track # 9 of the

    I bought the Audiobook and I've only made it to track # 9 of the first CD (out of 5 CDs) and I am already considering returning it. While I am sure the content is probably decent, I feel that tit was a mistake to have the author (Brian Kilmeade) perform the reading. To be blunt, he sucks at it. There are parts where he mumbles and eats the words which makes it hard to understand what he is saying. His pronunciation of certain words is very distracting and he places commas (pauses) in between words that are not meant to be separated. In doing so, he ends up changing the meaning or the intended message of the sentence.

    It is obvious that Mr. Kilmeade is not well-versed at this and had they taken the time to re-record some of the readings, this would have been a much better product. I cannot say anything pro or con about the book; but I DO NOT RECOMMEND THE AUDIO BOOK unless they re-record it with someone who better suited for the task.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite George Washington

    Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

    George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger is the single most illuminating piece of non-fiction it has ever been my pleasure and honor to read. History of the daring Revolution against King George of England and his much superior fighting force comes alive within the covers of this remarkable text. The subject of this book concerns the pivotal involvement of a surreptitious ring of six spies who maintained a steady, if circuitous, flow of critical information from New York, where British military was firmly entrenched, to Washington’s headquarters in New Jersey. It may rightly be said the United States of America might never have existed, were it not for the courageous efforts of these six ordinary people. So secretive was their existence that to this day the identity and ultimate fate of one of them is still not known. General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, by design, did not even know the names of his crucial links in the fight for independence.

    George Washington’s Secret Six is not a fictional story; it really happened the way the authors have presented it. Nearly one quarter of this volume is given over to documentation of every assertion made by the authors. However, being true does not mean it is boring. It is as captivating and filled with intrigue as any best-selling fictional espionage thriller. This book goes way beyond your High School History class, expounding upon events so clandestine their existence was known to only a very few of the participants’ descendants long after the fact. Yet, the methods devised by Washington and his confidants were so advanced for their time that they are still taught today to CIA intelligence agents. Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger researched this critical bit of history for over 25 years before they were sufficiently confident of the integrity of what they wanted to publish. If the spies had failed, the entire planet would have proceeded down a different path. It has oft been said George Washington is the father of our country. George Washington’s Secret Six proclaims the truth of that statement like never before.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    Just ok for me.

    Too full of history leading up to story. I thought they'd get down to business and tell the spy part right away. I am sure it is a good book, but history is not my thing. But spy stuff is.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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