Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recommended Reading: George Washington's Secret Six

I am a huge history buff and particularly interested in the Revolutionary War. The more I read about that period of history the more I come to appreciate the sacrifices that were made so that we could enjoy freedom as Americans today. One of the turning points in the war occurred not on the battlefield but behind enemy lines as a brave group of civilians known as the Culper Ring spied on British forces occupying New York enabling General George Washington to strategically plan his moves and outwit his enemies.

In the new book George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution authors Brian Kilmeade (of Fox and Friends) and Don Yaeger pour through all the available records to shed some light on who these six ordinary Americans were who would risk so much for the cause of freedom.

The narrative is fast paced and actually reads more like a novel than a history book. Through their meticulous research they uncover a biographical sketch of five of the six ring members. The lone female of the group remains to this day unidentified the only information available being the number she was assigned by the ring's leader to identify who she was.

With amazing detail, Kilmeade and Yaeger not only uncover the ring's techniques for uncovering information but also demonstrate how the ring's efforts led to several major American victories. In fact, were it not for the Culpers ability to spread misinformation in New York in 1781 American forces might not have been able to catch the British off guard at Yorktown and seal the final victory of the war.

It was not until the end of the book that I discovered that much of what the Culper ring accomplished was so groundbreaking in the field of espionage that the Central Intelligence Agency actually teaches its new recruits about the ring during their initial training.

Anyone who has an interest in the Revolutionary War or even history in general would be well served to read this book. This is a fascinating look at one of the earliest successful spy rings. It is a story that will keep you riveted all throughout the book. I highly recommend it.

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