Read George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade Don Yaeger Online


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 KilmeadeAs 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 Kilmeade When General George Washington beat a hastyretreat from New York City in August 1776, manythought the American Revolution might soon beover. Instead, Washington rallied thanks in largepart to a little-known, top-secret group called theCulper Spy Ring.Washington realized that he couldn t beat theBritish with military might, so he recruited a sophisticatedand deeply secretive intelligence network toinfiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were themembers identities that one spy s name was notuncovered until the twentieth century, and oneremains unknown today. But by now, historianshave discovered enough information about the ring sactivities to piece together evidence that these sixindividuals turned the tide of the war.Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeadeand Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits ofGeorge Washington s secret six:Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchantand reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keepinghis identity secret even from Washington;Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked hisemployment and his life in order to protect themission;Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoremanwho loved baiting the British and agreed to ferrymessages between Connecticut and New York;Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (andsurprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelorwith business and family excuses for travelingto Manhattan;James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouseand print shop where high-ranking British officersgossiped about secret operations;Agent 355, a woman whose identity remainsunknown but who seems to have used her wit andcharm to coax officers to share vital secrets.In" George Washington s Secret Six," Townsend andhis fellow spies finally receive their due, takingtheir place among thepantheon of heroes of theAmerican Revolution."...

Title : George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781595231031
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 235 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution Reviews

  • Art
    2018-09-01 12:01

    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 on the other side." Puh-leeze!!! A history book that says God answered Washington's prayers? Really? The Culper Ring deserves so much better. They are a little known footnote to history as it is. We still don't even know the identity of the lone woman among the half dozen who established methods of intelligence gathering that are still used in instruction by the CIA. Their contributions as Washington's private espionage corps were priceless. And even Washington didn't know all of their names. I have high hopes AMC's new series, "Turn" will take a more exciting approach to their story (although I suspect its factual content may also be lacking). To be fair, the book does get better as you get into the Culper action. But the first 50 pages are an ordeal of over-simplified, cliche-driven historical summaries of the early Revolutionary War. All full of patriotism and God, of course. The first part of the book is a 1.0 but the latter stages are probably a solid 3.0.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2018-08-22 09:49

    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 of the female Agent 355 is one I'd first seen in the Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned graphic novel. The book is based on historical research, but is not well documented, and the author made the decision to write fictionalized dialogue. This serves to make the entire book seem less historical, and I wish he had not done this. Reading the letters that are actually known to history was more interesting and authentic, and didn't need fictionalizing. I would like to see a more scholarly version of this story, in other words.Still, the book is interesting and not too long. I'd give it 3.5 stars. However the narration is terrible. Brian Kilmeade has a very pronounced Long Island accent which in itself is very distracting, but his background as a sports broadcaster makes him practically yell every word, which almost made me quit before the end of the first disc. He also doesn't read sentences as entire phrases, rather he... takes pauses... for no reason. He does this... throughout the book... and it is exhausting. This would have been an enjoyable experience with a more refined reader, regardless of the level of scholarship.

  • Jason Koivu
    2018-08-21 14:51

    "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." - Nathan Hale, American Revolution Spy."I only regret that I have but one life in which to read I am DONE with this muthafucker." - Jason Koivu, American Reader.American Revolution history? Insights into early intelligence agents? "I like those things!" I would've shouted had I not been in the middle of the library when I found this on the shelves and did a little dance.Brian Kilmeade's George Washington's Secret Six reads a tad young. Perhaps it's a young adult book? I don't know. All I know is it felt simple. The language sounded dumbed down.I say "sounded" and mean it literally, because I listened to this via audiobook. This review is essentially for, or rather against that version of the book, of which I could only manage to get through approximately 20% before making the above declaration regarding "this muthafucker."My main complaint is against the reader, who could not for the life of him pronounce all his words correctly for more than a five minute stretch. At first I thought maybe he was from Boston, because words that ended in an R were getting replaced by Ah or Aw sounds, and vice versa. For example, "saw" became "sar". But then other words were just said flat out wrong..."door" became "doer". It was like he was sounding out the letters instead of reading the whole word.Over emphasis. If you're looking for it, this audiobook has some and some to spare. When reading action or dramatic scenes, okay, lay it on, but anguish and elation are not necessary through out the reading of your average history text.I also wasn't a fan of the addition of fictional dialogue. What was added didn't seem necessary. Here's a fictional example..."The British are coming! The British are coming," Paul Revere shouted."No shit? Seriously," asked a guy from Concord and/or Lexington."Yep!""Dang..."It's too bad this audiobook had so many faults that not only ruined my enjoyment of the book, but put an end to my reading of it. The subject interested me, so perhaps if I was to pick up the book and read it for myself I might really like it.

  • Brandon Yoder
    2018-09-08 08:35

    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 seems to have largely been left out of our history books. These were average men and women that were in a strategic position to help Washington try and take back New York. They risked their lives and the lives of their families for what they were doing. Each report they delivered or question that was asked was another risk that could send them to the gallows or a prison ship, yet they pushed on for liberty and independence. After reading this you can't help but feel Robert Townsend, specifically, should go down as one of the great heroes of the revolution. He never wanted any recognition for what he did even after the war and never told anyone, that we know of,the truth. His identity only being discovered in 1929. I wish I could read more about the goings on of the specific members at the time, or even detailed accounts of what occurred after the war, not just a general summary. Unfortunately, since these were basically average citizens no special attention was given to them.My one problem with the book comes with Benedict Arnold and Yorktown. It seems that the Culper ring was somewhat involved in the exposure of Benedict Arnold, but the book makes you feel like they outright exposed Arnolds treachery. This doesn't seem to be the case. There were many factors that brought down John Andre and Benedict Arnold and while the ring may have had a part, they were not the ones who did it.Also there's a section in the book entitled, "Secret six deliver Yorktown to Washington" yet again, I feel its a stretch to say they "delivered" Yorktown to Washington. It seems, even after reading the section, they did very little at all to take down Cornwallis at Yorktown.Overall though this book was a great read and one I plan to read through again. I just wish we today as Americans would appreciate the sacrifice people like this made so we could live like we do today.

  • Katie
    2018-08-29 10:41

    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, terribly written book that I don't like is authored by a co-host on Fox & Friends. OH....and there's the target audience for the book! I think history (and even the concept of non-fiction) is presented in precisely the same way Fox & Friends treats the news (or, dare I say, reality).What a disappointment. This could have been so interesting.

  • Rebecca
    2018-09-18 11:58

    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 think it's wonderful that someone has written a book about these incredible individuals that helped to turn the tide on the American Revolution. It's especially interesting to note that George Washington was himself a spy during the French and Indian War, so firsthand he understood the importance of their work.Discussed is this book are Caleb Brewster, James Rivington, Austin Roe, Benjamin Tallmade, Robert Townsend, and Abraham Woodhull. They risked their lives and the lives of the ones they loved to help George Washington and his army to win our War of Independence. I would like to know more about Agent 355. A woman who used her feminine charms and acute mind to extract information from talkative British soldiers at parties in New York. Documents state she was captured by the British and then the trail of her whereabouts ends. Did she die on the Jersey? Called the death ship, because of the deplorable conditions for the prisoners onboard. Most died, and the once who survived, few ever regained their health. Or, as I hope, did she escape and live out her dies in peace. Whatever her fate, we are likely to never know her true name now after so many decades. As with most spies, these men and women did not want accolades or money. I think people forget the cost of such dedication and it's a pity, but a necessity, that they must carry their service to the grave. This book, to me, is a great springboard to other more detailed versions. Some of which are discussed in the back section of this book.

  • Jilly
    2018-08-26 12:50

    Don't bother reading this. If you want a "story" version of the Culper Spy Ring, watch AMC's series, Spin. If you want the historical facts, use the references from this book. The writing is terrible. A swing at trying to make history into a story, but a total miss. I think your average high school student could write a report on the whole event and make it more compelling than this book.

  • Michele
    2018-08-23 06:50

    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 is why I will do so well, if I ever end up in one.Just finished another round for a book group in 2015. I enjoyed it just as much if not more the second time. There are some liberties taken with dialogue but I still really enjoyed this book. You can't help but wonder how it might all have ended up had Arnold's plan worked. I liked this blurb on the back: James Bond is a rank amateur compared to the heroic efforts of the Culper Ring. Harvey Mackay

  • Arminius
    2018-09-06 09:35

    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 on an important route, along the spy ring.Austin Roe owned a tavern where many Tory and British soldiers congregated. Here, he would overhear many British plans.Caleb Brewster was a longshoreman responsible for ferrying messages between Connecticut and New York.James Rivington was probably the most important member however because he was the publisher of the Royalist newspaper “Rivington Gazette.” There he would gather military information by interviewing British officers. The British never caught on to his American sympathies. Rivington was responsible for acquiring the British battle plan for Yorktown which ended the war with an incredible American victory. Finally, there was a woman known as Agent 355 who used womanly charm to obtain information from British soldiers. The Rings other major contributions to the war was capturing British Spy, John Andre, and obtaining Benedict Arnold’s plan to hand over West Point to the British.

  • LillyBooks
    2018-09-18 10:45

    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 or something, these are full fictional meetings and conversations complete with raised eyebrows and hitting a table so hard the tankards shake. Really? Did anyone actually see that raised eyebrow? No, so in my opinion this cannot be a nonfiction book. A second complaint, although fortunately this one fades out after the first couple of chapters, is the assumption that God himself was guiding Washington et al, including that He purposely put fog down on the Hudson River so Washington could escape New York. That sort of nationalism is ugly and narrow-minded. In general, I found the writing to be sophomoric at best. I did finish the book, mostly because it's short and written at a third grade level, but I finished it feeling like the actual Culper Spy Ring deserve so much better for their efforts.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2018-08-24 09:56

    This had potential but the narrator of the audio went all over the place. OVERALL GRADE: C minus.

  • Theresa
    2018-08-20 08:36

    This isn't so much a review as much as it is a rant on how horribly ignorant Americans are of such an important part of our history and me shamelessly trying to convince everyone to watch a show about it. You've been warned.First off, had I known the author was affiliated with Fox News I would never have actually bought the book, but tried to find it from the local library. And no that isn't the reason it got three stars. That being said this is a very important story in American History that is not told in any history course I've ever taken. Anyone I've tried talking to about the Culper spy ring looks at me like I have six heads. I find this extremely troubling, considering the amount of recognition these men and woman deserve.In high school history when learning about the American Revolution, we were taught the major battles and names like Benedict Arnold and George Washington. Maybe we even heard the name General Clinton in skimming of the text, but we never read the names Culper, Woodhull, Talmadge, Townsend, or Roe. Why? In fact, had I not been watching Pawn Stars on the history channel to see a coming attraction for Turn: George Washington's Spies on AMC, I wouldn't know their names either. By the way, if you haven't watched the show, you should. It's wonderful and mostly accurate, aside from the inter-character relations they add for dramatic effects. So why are high schools not teaching students even a tiny bit of this history? When I had to take another history class in college, this was again not touched upon. Why are we not learning about these people?I have tried pushing this information onto so many people in recent days, because I think it's so important. And you may be thinking to yourself: why does it matter? One, the CIA uses this spy ring to influence its current methods for spying. Two, we have a country because of this spy ring. Granted, it is a bit of a mess and has a long way to go, but it also has come a long way. And it only got its start because six people decided a country was worth the risk of being hung by the neck, like Nathan Hale. I found out from this book he was hung on a corner I frequented every single day for five years and had no idea of its relevance. What's there representing Nathan Hale's valiant effort at spying? Starbucks. No sign, no recognition.I get it, being a spy usually entails no one knows your identity. But over two hundred years later, and there is still one name we don't know. We only recently discovered Townsend's involvement, and who knows who else helped save the cause. But what I do know is this story is important, and it really is fascinating how six people with no military background pulled off what some would have thought to be impossible.The only thing I didn't like about this book was the dialogue. I love historical fiction and nonfiction alike, but there's no way I can accept assumed dialogue in a nonfictional account. I get why it was used, I just don't think it worked nor was it needed. I also recently purchased Alexander Rose's book on the topic, which was the inspiration for AMC's Turn.If nonfiction isn't something you're interested in, do try watching the show! It is on Netflix and also on demand. The show is also finished, so you won't be left hanging. While not 100% accurate, it does the trick in informing the viewer of such a crucial period of American History. And the actors are also not so bad to look at.

  • Candy
    2018-09-02 08:02

    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
    2018-08-23 11:46

    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 the authors have imagined up lack creativity and feel forced. If this were one of those high school English papers, it would have received an F for having no in-text citations. There are a few pages of "selected sources" listed in the back. For a book with so many juicy details that would change the popular view of history, one would expect to be able to check footnotes. This was a quick, easy read; perhaps it would be a good way to introduce revolutionary history to a middle school student. I suppose it usually flowed well. The story itself is great, and the samplings of the Culper Ring's letters are very insightful to read. However, Kilmeade and Yaeger's writing is dilettantish, spoiling the entire reading experience. I really wish I had found Alexander Rose's Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring before I bought this book. It appears from reviews to be much better researched and written, giving this fascinating story the deliberation that it deserves.

  • Marilee Turscak
    2018-08-23 11:57

    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 in on important conversations between intoxicated Englishman, a longshoreman who delivered messages between Connecticut and New York, and a seductive mistress who teased secrets out of unsuspecting Brits. This book is a gripping adventure story, as well as a much-needed homage to six unknown heroes. It is a previously unpublished story of astoundingly clever citizen spies who risked their lives and played an integral role in the shaping of American history.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2018-09-08 08:51

    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 our country's history.

  • Hayley DeRoche
    2018-09-06 14:45

    Hoo boy, where do I start.PROBLEMS, I have them:-"Selected Sources" instead of a real list of all researched sources & lack of in-text citations-A note in the beginning saying "much of the dialogue in this book is fictional" (NO SHIT)-Scene-setting that's impossible to verify (candles flickering, hesitations, clearing throats, inner thoughts, etc)... These things lead me to think there's a LOT of faffing about with the facts in order to best suit a narrative of American exceptionalism. (Also it's just boring as hell.)

  • Raven
    2018-09-04 08:57

    I thought I wanted to read this book. Unfortunately, I think what I actually wanted was to read the primary sources of this book. I really disliked the creative writing aspects of the authors' reading into history, presenting the thoughts of historical figures as if they knew what they were. The writing style reminded me very much of the Value Tales that I loved as a child, in that it had a strong moral message and was written for the reading level of a third grader. For a book covering new historical knowledge, I had rather hoped for something written for adults. There are plenty of places where the book is flat-out historically inaccurate (the root causes of the French and Indian war, the history of espionage or military strategy prior to the American Revolution), which is terrifically irresponsible in a book meant to inform. By about page 20, I was looking for the "about the author" section to see what their background in military history or intelligence was, that they came out with such a book. Sadly, they do not appear to have much. It's a fascinating topic; I hope an actual historian does better justice to it.

  • Jill
    2018-09-08 10:34

    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 notes, I had had enough.) I listened to the audio version of this book, read by Brian Kilmeade, who sounded as if he were enthusiastically reading fairy tales to kids. And maybe that was appropriate….Evaluation: Maybe if you don’t know much early American history, you won’t even know that the information presented as fact is so inaccurate and objectionable. (It should be noted that the contortion of facts is all in the service of glorifying the American revolutionaries.) But I respect history, and I feel strongly about abusing it. I was outraged over this book.Rating: 0.5/5

  • Robin
    2018-09-18 14:39

    If you love the AMC TV show TURN: Washington's Spies, you'll love this non-fiction account of the same topic. I know the show was actually created from Alexander Rose's history book "Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring" but they were both on sale on Kindle and I couldn't decide so I just got both and wound up reading this one first. And honestly, I'm not sure how or why the show claims to be based on a non-fiction book when a non-fiction book is factual... so really, it's just based on history, and this is also a non-fictional book about that history.I honestly had no idea just how important espionage was during the Revolutionary War. When I thought of this topic, I thought of what I learned in school: founding fathers, minutemen, Paul Revere, etc. But now I know it's so much more than that, and there was so much more going on in the background. They don't teach this in schools, but they should, maybe kids would pay attention.Never boring or dry, this book really pulls you into the spy ring and let's you get to know each individual involved. At the end, it also explores who female agent 355 might have been. Sometimes, it's so juicy, I can't believe it really happened. It was interesting to compare and contrast it with the show too, which did add some fictional elements and make some changes, but not so much that it draws away from the real history, which makes me love the show even more.This is precisely the kind of history book I would recommend to people who (wrongly) think history is boring, but it's also thrilling for those who already appreciate history. I don't think I've ever blown through non-fiction this fast.Historical Readings & Reviews

  • Jim
    2018-09-18 09:36

    I learned very early about George Washington, Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, etc. It was not until recently that I learned that Washington had a spy ring ... the Culper Ring organized by Benjamin Tallmadge to obtain information on British activity in and around New York city. The Culper Ring provided valuable information to Washington including that the British planned a surprise attack on the allied French force at Newport, that the British planned to counterfeit American currency, and that a high ranking American officer, soon shown to be Benedict Arnold, had been plotting to surrender the garrison and to turn over the vitally important American fort at West Point. Secrecy was so paramount that even Washington did not know the names of the members of the Culper Ring. One of the main members, Robert Townsend, was not known until the 20th century. The identity of the only female member, known as Agent355, is still unknown. This novel often reads like historical fiction. It is not a history textbook. If you enjoy history and a good mystery I would recommend.

  • Mary Louise Sanchez
    2018-08-28 13:41

    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
    2018-09-07 13:50

    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!

  • Emelia
    2018-09-03 06:46

    “Those men and women whose true identities are never revealed and whose stories have never been told, but who offer their service and their lives on behalf of their country. To each of them we owe an inexpressible debt.”If I could give George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution 10 stars I would do so gladly. It is dubbed as a political thriller, however I do not think that description does this book justice. It is a book of honor, love of country, and a love of freedom. It is a book about 6 Americans who believed in a man so deeply and fiercely that they risked their lives navigating through the Loyalists and British army to gain intelligence with no expectations of fame or glory.I can not imagine how these six people sat behind enemy lines every day for four years knowing what would happen to them if they were discovered. They were not the hero's of lore, but average Americans; Robert Townsend was a newspaper editor; Austin Roe, a bartender; Celeb Brewster, a longshoreman; Abraham Woodhull, who traveled to and from New York; James Rivington, who owned a coffeehouse; and a female socialite only known as Agent 355; who became the hero's of today.Kilmeade explains how the American intelligence officer, Benjamin Tallmadge, and General Washington used a pre-Morse Code, with numbers representing names and places, invisible ink, encryption, and dead drops to communicate. How they would send innocuous letters with important information written on the back in invisible ink. It is incredible to think that they thought of all of this without any prior espionage knowledge !One of my favorite parts of this book was the part where Agent 355 was able to listen to the gossip in New York and laid the groundwork that prevented Benedict Arnold from handing over West Point to the British. But then I am always a sucker for strong women in history. It is sad though, that her identity is still unknown and that she can not be praised today, for her heroic efforts.Yes, this book is named as a political thriller, but it is so much more. It is about the men and women who risked their lives for a country they loved and this book often brought tears to my eyes; proud that I live in a country that gave birth to people such as these. I only wish there were such people as these today. People who would risk all to keep America free from tyrannical foreign rule and people who value this country so much so that they would risk their very lives to keep America "Home of the free and land of the brave."

  • Carolyn Appleton
    2018-09-07 14:41

    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 ancestor was John Honeyman. John's support for the Patriot cause is noted early-on in the book (starting on page 29). While not a member of the Secret Six, John spied for George Washington earlier during the war effort, and his handiwork led to Washington's success at the Battle of Trenton.It has been quite a few years since I have delved into the history of the American Revolutionary War in a serious way. This book brought the War clearly back to mind, but in a more focused and tangible way. As the stories of each spy's experiences unfold, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger convey the stress they - and their families - experienced. The book is well-documented and written, but it is not so "high minded" that is omits the harsh realities of life as a spy. As I read the book, I felt nervous for members of the Culper Ring, and I also gained a better sense of the brutality of the British Army.For those who are unaware, spying by both Patriot and British forces was an essential aspect of war during this time period. For Patriots who served as spies, they kept their roles secret long after liberty had been achieved. As the co-authors note, "They carried on in obscurity as ordinary and unassuming people whose neighbors never knew they had led double lives." But to spies like the Secret Six must be credited much of the success of the American Revolutionary War!I enjoyed the book and recommend it highly.[A brief Tumblr regarding my ancestor John Honeyman may be found via this link:]

  • Ron
    2018-08-29 07:56

    “Slow but credible intelligence was better than fast but muddled--or no intelligence at all.”A good (true) story, well told. A wealth of direct quotes from primary sources. Dumbed down for today’s readers, but you expect that from a reporter. The title hyperbole is typical. Several minor factual errors undercut credibility of things hard to verify.“Washington, whom generations of schoolchildren would later know as a man who ‘could not tell a lie’ couldn’t help but be pleased” he’d misled Clinton. At least as good as Alexander Rose’s Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring. Read either book in preference to expecting history from AMC’s TURN, which is entertaining but turns history inside out and upside down.“Nature, armies, and young hearts abhor a vacuum.”Cover blurbs cuts its audience and credibility. The author hides his association with FoxNews (“the most patriotic company in America”) in the Acknowledgements, though presumable he is known to Fox viewers.“Money is [Benedict Arnold]’s God, and to get enough of it he would sacrifice his country.” 1777Implies spies were part of Washington’s desperate “survival strategy.” No, intelligence gathering is part of good generalship. Washington was a good general.“André had been caught and captured at the same game Tallmadge as playing: they both knew the rules, the rewards, and the risks--and they both knew the penalties.”After reading the sympathetic chapters on the fate of Major John André, reader might ask, would Washington have hung André if Lord Howe hadn’t hung Nathan Hale? (IMO, probably.)“I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former days have been glorious and honorable.” George Washington bidding farewell to his officers.

  • Renee
    2018-09-17 07:58

    I am an American History teacher and was so excited to find this book on the current best-sellers list. I am also a huge George fan (one of my history hunks) and intrigued by the topic and title. Dispensed with this intro, let me say I was hugely disappointed in this book. I had to force myself to finish it! The writing was dry, sophomoric and convoluted. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight and had to keep referring to the blurb. The authors would throw in contrived fictional dialogue for a spell and then get back to actual history! While I did learn a great deal about the Culper spy ring it was only due to my dogged refusal to pitch the book! Don't waste your time on this one.

  • Jill
    2018-09-12 09:40

    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 Benedict Arnold's act of treason to be thrilling. I could not stop reading until it was over, though of course, I knew the outcome! This is truly wonderful writing.

  • Linda Wells
    2018-09-13 07:43

    The detailed history in George Washington's Secret Six was beyond my expectation. The book read like a novel and every page contained fascinating details. My admiration and respect for those who fought for our country's freedoms cannot be expressed. This book should be required reading in all American history classes. The bravery of those who fought and died for our country is unfathomable. Thank you, Brian Kilmeade, for writing a great book.

  • Pop
    2018-08-21 13:42

    I thought the book enlightening. I never had heard anything about spy's during the Revolutionary War. The book was tedious, but that being said, I enjoyed it & I learned a lot about our Independence that I never understood before. A book worth reading & I am glad that I did read it. God Bless America! I only wish we had more Patriots like Washington's 6 to save our Independence TODAY.