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George Washington's Secret Six

The Spy Ring That Saved America
Narrated by: Brian Kilmeade
Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

From the cohost of Fox & Friends, the true story of the anonymous spies who helped win the Revolutionary War.

Among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution, six names are missing. First and foremost, Robert Townsend, an unassuming and respected businessman from Long Island, who spearheaded the spy ring that covertly brought down the British…before they, or anyone else, could discover their names.

Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger finally give Townsend and his fellow spies their proper due, telling the fascinating story of how they passed information to George Washington that turned the tide of the war. Using a network of citizen operatives that included a longshoreman, bartender, newspaper editor, housewife, tailor, and femme fatale, and employing a series of complex codes, the so-called Culper Spy Ring used sophisticated tactics to subvert the British.

Based on previously unpublished research, George Washington's Secret Six is a gripping history of these amazing, anonymous Patriots who risked their lives for our freedom.

©2013 Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger (P)2013 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

passionately read

I watched the TV series Turn, and thought I would complete the experience by listening to the book. The authors have an in depth knowledge of the subject, and Brian Kilmeade, obviously has a passion for the subject, but that's the problem, I found his style of narration overly exuberant, he gets too excited and begins to get loud at times. This tends to overshadow the exellent story. If the book had been read by a trained actor, it would have been 5 stars across the board.

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things they didn't teach me in school!

I've listened to this alongside watching 'Turn'. without the two i would have found this book a bit confusing ...all the names and places and story twists. but with the supporting tv show it all made sense.

i found the reader to be a bit too excitable at times and his increased tone and speed was distracting.

all in all I'm very glad i listened. I've learned new facts.

1 person found this helpful

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Passionate reader, very enjoyable

Who was your favorite character and why?

Robert Townsend, he was fascinating.

What about Brian Kilmeade’s performance did you like?

He is a very passionate reader who clearly loves everything about this story and these characters, and he puts a lot of emotion into reading, it makes even duller passages interesting to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Su
  • 16-12-14

too much like hard work

What did you like best about George Washington's Secret Six? What did you like least?

This should have been a great true story of one of Washington's spy ring which helped him win the "war of independence" but it not - the presentation is dreadful and ruined the whole experience for me.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The spy ring and its ins and outs should have been fascinating - but the way it has been narrated demolishes the interest I had

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Brian Kilmeade?

I wish that authors would leave the reading of their books to professionals - there is a certain amount of arrogance in the "I've written it so I'm reading it".

I have repeatedly said that the narrator can make or break a book and in this case Kilmeade destroyed his own work

Do you think George Washington's Secret Six needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, please no!

Any additional comments?

I should have loved this - it's my kind of thing - but this was just too hard.

From the narrator (who sounds like a petulant 12 year old reading his essay to the class) through the syntax (which again was that of a 12 year old and that's being generous) to the overall presentation - it was a disaster when it should have been fascinating.

Thank goodness for Audible's returns policy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 04-06-15

Good story, boring reader

Great story but Brian is not a great reader. He places inflections and emphasis in odd places, and doesn't seem to know how to pause for dramatic effect. This is one a professional reader would have done better.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 09-03-14

Interesting story. Poor narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Story is intriguing and historically relevant. A bit dis jointed on how it is flows but interesting non the less. It made me revisit my basic knowledge of the revolutionary war and its players.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of uncredited?

The narrator was one of the worst I have ever encountered. I almost stopped listening as a result but ultimately got through it as the story was interesting. The narration tone is very sensational and leading. I would have liked a narrator who honored the seriousness of the story and the risks the spies and the continental army had to take.

17 people found this helpful

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  • kevin
  • 07-11-13

Great Read

What did you love best about George Washington's Secret Six?

It's amazing to hear this piece of American and local history presented in a comprehensive form. I now currently live in the Setauket area, and only learned of the Culper Spy Ring from the road signs posted by the local historical society. Thanks for illuminating this most important piece of American History.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Six Patriots !

12 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 24-09-15

Pretty good

I read a lot of complaints in the reviews and found myself reluctant to start the book. I'm glad I did though because, it was a surprisingly good read. If you're like me and have recently become of a fan of the AMC TV show "TURN", and have become curious about the real story of the spies, then this is a great introduction to some facts about them. The story was told well and kept me very engaged.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 08-12-13

Great Expectations Left Unfulfilled

Would you try another book from Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger and/or uncredited?

No, I wouldn't. This book could have been exciting and had a great underlying story. However, it was written in a lifeless fashion and I was never pulled into the story. I found it boring.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I think it would have needed different writers and most certainly a different narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

The narration was terrible. The reader spoke much too fast and did not enunciate clearly.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The best part of the book was the hype leading up to it. I couldn't wait to hear more about these men.

Any additional comments?

Waste of money.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Stallworth
  • 22-09-15

Great insight on important events

I had no idea the extent of the effort during the revolutionary war and this book proves I have been more ignorant than I thought. New York seems to be missing in the history books during this period, as most of the battles occurred elsewhere, but its importance in securing victory for the United States is obvious from this account. This book makes me eager to look into this period in a new light.

1 person found this helpful

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  • John
  • 16-09-15

Great read for history buffs and patriots

I finished this book in about 2 sittings. I wish more Americans were aware of this American league of heroes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Happy customer
  • 03-06-15

Great book

This was a great history book and helped me understand the popular TV drama TURN on the AMC network. I remember hearing parts of these events when I was a kid growing up in NJ. Very well done Kilmeade.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lre410
  • 22-09-14

Only one problem ...

it was over too soon. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute and will be on the look out for similar titles.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 11-07-14

Great book

This is the story of 6 spies (after Nathan Hale was hung in NYC for spying on the British during the Revolutionary War). It gives great background on why they were chased, how they fit into the storyline of the war as well as shows great research and attention to the details. Kilmeade and Yaeger do a great job of telling the story and Kilmeade of the reading. I recommend this for anyone interested in American history.

3 people found this helpful