The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Friday, July 11, 2014

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S SECRET SIX: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution By Brian Kilmeade

George Washington's Secret Six by Brian KilmeadePublisher:  Sentinel HC
Release Date:  November 5, 2013
Pages:  235
Genre:  American History
Reviewed By WC

Book Description:  “As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they didn’t get in life. The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who give so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.”
—Brian Kilmeade

When General 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. 
Washington realized that he couldn’t beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members’ identities that one spy’s name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring’s activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. 
Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits of George Washington’s secret six:  
Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchant and reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keeping his identity secret even from Washington; Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked his employment and his life in order to protect the mission; Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoreman who loved baiting the British and agreed to ferry messages between Connecticut and New York; Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (and surprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelor with business and family excuses for traveling to Manhattan; James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouse and print shop where high-ranking British officers gossiped about secret operations; Agent 355, a woman whose identity remains unknown but who seems to have used her wit and charm to coax officers to share vital secrets.

In George Washington’s Secret Six, Townsend and his fellow spies finally receive their due, taking their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.

WC's Review:  George Washington truly was the force behind the revolution, for without his fortitude and perseverance we Americans would still be drinking tea at four in the afternoon with an extended pinkie wondering how we would continue to afford it.

George, not the most clever and resourceful general in American history, needed help and knew it from the early glory days in Boston in 1775, where the British fleet absconded the harbor after the humiliation of Breed's Hill, to invade and capture New York. Washington immediately began the recruitment of trusted Americans who would enhance the colonial effort through the infiltration of British encampments in the city. Washington realized that without the services of five dedicated men and one woman, who was known only by her designation as No. 235, or 324, or whatever number it was, the feeble colonial military effort at that time was doomed to ignoble failure.

Sadly, his early choice of Nathan Hale proved unfortunate. Hale was caught early on and was hanged. His historical legacy rests with the words, "I regret but that I have only one life to give for my country."

The other gentleman and lady fared better. Although living under constant threat of being discovered and done away with, six prominent citizens became clever in disguising their true intentions and purpose in traversing the city, Long Island, and nearby towns of New York while conversing with the enemy.

Kilmeade provides us with a fascinating tale of accomplishment by ordinary folks who became expert at going about their business. 

Extraordinary characters Major John Andre, Major General Benedict Arnold, and the lovely Peggy Shippen cavort in a symphony of intrigue to liven the history of our founding struggle for independence. A must read.
Brian KilmeadeThe Author:  As cohost of FOX & Friends, the number one rated morning program on cable television for the past nine years, Brian Kilmeade shares his unique perspective on the daily news. He has interviewed the biggest names in politics, sports and entertainment, often securing exclusive content.

Kilmeade played a large part in FOX ís coverage of September 11th, as well as coverage including reporting from war zones in the middle east and over a dozen military bases from coast to coast. In addition, he has contributed live coverage of both the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions.

Also serving as the networks sports anchor, Kilmeade has reported on or provided live coverage of every major American sport over the last twenty years.

Currently, he is the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show on FOX News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends. The show is heard on 80 stations, as well as XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Kilmeade’s first book, The Games Do Count: America’s Best & Brightest On The Power Of Sports (2004), was The New York Times best-seller and presents more than seventy stories straight from America’s top leaders and those who were closest to them. Kilmeade reveals this simple and compelling truth: America’s best and brightest haven’t just worked hard—they’ve played hard, too.

His companion volume, It’s How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America’s Finest (2007), reveals personal stories of the defining sports moments in the lives of athletes, CEOs, actors, politicians, and historical figures—and how what they learned on the field prepared them to handle life and overcome adversity with courage, dignity, and sportsmanship. Sports Illustrated said of it, “This book taught me more about some of my favorite leaders than any profile of them I had ever read.”

A graduate of Long Island University, Kilmeade began his career as a correspondent on Channel One, a daily national high school television news program. He then served as an anchor and host for KHSC-TV in Ontario, California. Brian also hosted sports talk radio for top rated XTRA-AM 690 whose duties included co-hosting The Jim Brown Show.

Prior to joining FOX News Channel, Kilmeade served as a freelance sports anchor for NBC in Hartford, as well as a sideline reporter for the MSG Network, where he covered the New York/New Jersey Metro-Stars, a major league soccer team based in Giants Stadium. He worked as a feature reporter and anchor for Newsport TV, where he hosted Newsport Journal, a daily magazine show for the national sports network. He also anchored Scoreboard Central, a live half-hour general sports program.

In addition to his career in journalism, Kilmeade has 10 years of experience as a stand-up comedian. He lives in Massapequa with his family, where he still coaches soccer.