The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles

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Overview

From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Paul B. Janeczko uncovers two centuries’ worth of true spy stories in U.S. history.

Ever since George Washington used them to help topple the British, spies and their networks have helped and hurt America at key moments in history. In this fascinating collection, Paul B. Janeczko probes such stories as that of Elizabeth Van Lew, an aristocrat whose hatred of slavery drove her to be one of the most successful ...

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The Dark Game

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Overview

From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Paul B. Janeczko uncovers two centuries’ worth of true spy stories in U.S. history.

Ever since George Washington used them to help topple the British, spies and their networks have helped and hurt America at key moments in history. In this fascinating collection, Paul B. Janeczko probes such stories as that of Elizabeth Van Lew, an aristocrat whose hatred of slavery drove her to be one of the most successful spies in the Civil War; the "Choctaw code talkers," Native Americans who were instrumental in sending secret messages during World War I; the staggering engineering behind a Cold War tunnel into East Berlin to tap Soviet phones (only to be compromised by a Soviet mole); and many more famous and less-known examples. Colorful personalities, daring missions, the feats of the loyal, and the damage of traitors are interspersed with a look at the technological advances that continue to change the rules of gathering intelligence.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Hilary Crew
This succinct history of spying, as it affects the United States, ranges from the Culper spy ring during the American Revolution to spying operations in the First and Second World War and up to and beyond the Cold War. Methods of spying are discussed in the context of technological advances and range from invisible ink and examples of various codes to cyberspying operations, such as GhostNet, and the use of satellites. Many of the spies included are also found in other books on spying or in books covering women's roles in war, for example, Elizabeth Van Lew, Rose O'Neale Greenhow, Mata Hari, and Virginia Hall. Janeczko, however, provides solid details along with fascinating snippets in an easy-to-follow text in which he tells stories about his subjects and the way they were trained. Especially interesting is an in-depth chapter of espionage in the First World War that covers the use of Choctaw to confuse Germans in the field, Germany's covert intelligence operations in the United States, and President Wilson's reluctance to engage in espionage. Post—World War II intelligence operations include the Berlin tunnel operation, Gary Powers and the U-2 spy planes, and the spying operations of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. While much of this information can be found in other books (for example, Janet Wyman Coleman's Secrets, Lies, Gizmos and Spies: A History of Spies and Espionage [Abrams, 2006/VOYA October 2006]), Janeczko provides background details and places the role of spying more particularly within the context of American history and politics. Reviewer: Hilary Crew
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Since the Revolutionary War, espionage has created fascinating scenarios involving some quite unlikely participants. From Benedict Arnold and Mata Hari to the lesser-known Elizabeth Van Lew and Juan Pujol, Janeczko delves into their stories with delicious detail, drawing readers into a world of intrigue and danger. Did you ever wonder why invisible ink works? How a code breaker deciphers a message? Or whether dentistry could affect a secret agent's success? The answers to these questions and more can be found here. Each chapter covers a historical era and chronicles the maturation of spying, while primary-source photographs are interspersed throughout, lending an authentic feel to each section. A complete bibliography and source notes appear at the end. Janeczko manages to stay true to history while still keeping a lively tone.—Kelly McGorray, Glenbard South High School, Glen Ellyn, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763660666
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 122,622
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul B. Janeczko is a multitalented poet, anthologist, and writer. His award-winning poetry anthologies include A POKE IN THE I, A KICK IN THE HEAD, and A FOOT IN THE MOUTH. He also wrote WORLDS AFIRE and TOP SECRET: A HANDBOOK OF CODES, CIPHERS, AND SECRET WRITING. He lives in Maine.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A must read

    The Dark Game by Paul B. Janeczko
    Did you know George Washington established the first spy network in the country? Well, I do because I read The Dark Games! The Dark Game is an exciting compilation of exciting short historical stories, rich with detail. Historical photos and images of spy-related documents enhance the overall picture the book creates making it a must read.
    It is a fascinating trip through many secretive events and the people who helped create them in history. It also illustrates the growth of technology in espionage well. From the Culper Ring to present day, each short story has something to offer. My favorite story was the part about the Culper Ring, which I thought was very interesting because of the varying techniques they used. This is an outstanding book I would recommend for any history buff, young and old. I put it on my favorite reads list!
    By Carson P., age 11, Mensa of Wisconsin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Good

    Really good book.

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