George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
Prices for book: George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
Book ISBN: 9781426300417
Author(s): Thomas B. Allen
Document type: Trade Paper
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Not just for kids
My wife found this book and I've so enjoyed it, I've gone back to portions of this work several times. I've even taken a dip pen and lemon juice to hand and tried writing with (adult supervision required here) invisible ink.
The book covers an aspect of the American Revolution that is often overlooked although espionage was critically important. This book makes a great companion to some of the historical fiction set in the time of the American Revolution. I recommend this little gem to anyone of any age interested in an in depth understanding of the American Revolution.
Five Star? This book really deserves six stars. Everything about this book is superior.
Nick Maas (Amazon.com)
Bought for son
I bought this book for my 11-year-old son. He had to read a book for school for a book report and read this one completely though without being told to "finish the book."
He said to give it a four. So I did.
Terry Crock (Amazon.com)
As informative as it is entertaining...
George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War is a National Geographic book written by Thomas B. Allen. This young adult book is as informative as it is entertaining. In the books that I have read about the Revolution, the Patriot spy network isn't given much coverage.
Allen starts during the French and Indian War when Washington was a young major. He was sent out by Virginia Royal Governor Robert Dimwiddie. Washington realized early on that he had to rely on intelligence gathered from civilians and the Indians to learn about French forces. Washington wrote "There is nothing more necessary than good Intelligence to frustrate a designing enemy & nothing that requires greater pains to obtain."
When the Revolutionary War began, Washington built on those information-gathering techniques that he used during the French and Indian War. Washington became a "spymaster," handling large numbers of individual spies. At first, Washington wanted an intelligence network of military men. The first such group was the Knowlton Rangers, which eventually evolved into the modern Army Rangers and Special Forces. The Rangers got off to a disastrous start, and Washington realized that "Instead of relying on officers to gather military intelligence, he would do what the Sons of Liberty had done in Boston. He would use civilians--sharp-witted Patriots who could spy while making believe they were Tories."
Thomas gives the reader a tutorial on spying and spies. He tells us the difference between an agent, a double agent, an intelligence officer and a snitch. He provides the code created by Benjamin Tallmadge for Patriot correspondence. He also hides messages throughout the book using this code. He details the tools of the spy trade from the 1700s including invisible ink, hiding messages in feather quills, small silver balls for hiding messages (they could be swallowed when captured), etc. Also, the Patriots were masters at forging documents and making sure they fell into British hands. One civilian woman relayed information to the military by the way she hung her laundry. But for all the information Washington received from his spy network, there was always the danger of dealing with double agents and traitors (Benedict Arnold).
One thing I found especially interesting about George Washington, Spymaster is how many agents and double agents were not identified until well after the Revolution. It has taken until the 1900s and the opening of British papers for Americans to discover that some of their trusted Patriots were actually working for Britain.
This may be a book written for young adults, but I certainly learned quite a bit from Thomas Allen in George Washington, Spymaster.
Cynthia K. Robertson (Amazon.com)
Book Artfully Done
This small book is done just as if it were printed in Washington's time.
The lettering on the jacket is touchable just like real engraving. The pages in the small book are uneven. The illustrations are all black and
white, highly detailed, and just like what you would have seen in
The names are sometimes hard to follow, but then the author gives you
a clue and you are again able to understand it.
The story gives you a real feel for how close the Colonies were to losing.
If Washington had not been cleverly making it look like he was
going to attack one place but actually hit them at another more vunerable place, we surely would not be free today.
I plan to gift every grandchild with this book when they are old enough to
really understand it. It makes the Revolution interesting, not stodgy.
This chronicling of the spies of the Revolutionary War (mostly viewed from the American side) was so interesting that I read it from cover to cover in one day. Even though it's targeted for 6-9th grades, I as an adult thoroughly enjoyed it. It's fun to get another view of the war from the espionage side. It made me appreciate the Patriots who fought for our liberty in a whole new way.
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