Title: George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Save the American Revolution
Author: Brian Kilmeade
Genre: Nonfiction - U.S. History
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure (perpetual); Nonfiction; Book to Movie
When George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. He realized that he couldn’t defeat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York.
Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have offered fascinating portraits of these spies: a reserved Quaker merchant, a tavern keeper, a brash young longshoreman, a curmudgeonly Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a mysterious woman. Long unrecognized, the secret six are finally receiving their due among the pantheon of American heroes.
I'll admit that I picked this up because of my love of watching Turn: Washington's Spies. For all my background in U.S. History, I had never really learned much about the Culper Ring other than it existed. I wanted to see if the tv show was at all factual. While there are certain liberties taken to amp up the dramatic flair and a few characters combined or changed slightly, the show is true to the spirit of the ring. Many historical characters do appear (Tallmadge, Simcoe, Rivington, Brewster, Woodhull, and Townsend). I enjoyed this quick introduction to the Culper Ring and spies during the American Revolution. I knocked off a star because of just how short this volume is. I would have liked more in depth information, maybe more about the actual methods they employed or more detailed accounts of how their ring fit into the larger picture. Very good, but not amazing.