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Book Analysis George Washington`s Secret Six

BookAnalysis:George Washington`s Secret SixNameAffiliationDateBookAnalysis: GeorgeWashington`s Secret SixGeorgeWashington`s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the AmericanRevolutionthat is a book by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger captures theweaknesses of the Revolutionaries and the role that the spies playedin defeating the British. More specifically, Kilmeade and Yaeger lookat the reinforcement, the skills and the experience that the Britishforces had. Besides that, it addresses how Washington considered theshortcomings of his troops and decided to employ the use of spies indefeating his enemies. In fact, they reveal why he focused oncapturing New York since it is one of the important cities in thevictory over the Britain forces. The Book’s ArgumentThebook shows how George Washington was able to use a network of sixspies that helped him during the American Revolution, and theygathered enough intelligence that was able to understand how theBritish operated and helped them conquer New York.Is the argument convincing?Infact, the thesis is convincing since he uses relevant examples thatjustify the concept of the six spies. He even uses a number ofstories that help in gathering enough evidence that supports thethesis and shows how Washington implemented various policies.

Howthe authors substantiate their claims?

The authors use the events during the American Revolution to revealthe importance of the six spies in handling the British forces andsubstantiate their claims too. In fact, the events during thatparticular time provide enough background information that one mightneed to understand the origin of the spies. Kilmeade and Yaeger(2013) also reveal the weaknesses of the army that George Washingtonhad assembled, and he insists how they were more likely to loseagainst the well-prepared British forces. In this case, he showedthat the American army did not have enough equipment and most of thesoldiers were just volunteers that did not have enough training orthe experience to fight in such wars. In the process, the British hadan easy time dealing with the Revolutionaries, and they had nearlydefeated them when Washington had to initiate another plan to bringthe British forces down. For instance, he shows that the British evenhad the control of the harbor and that means that they could easilymove reinforcements into the nation quite easily. Hence, he couldhave lost if he restored to the traditional approach of the “clashof armies” since the British were well prepared. Using spies wasone important aspect of the series of maneuvers that he wanted to usein exploiting the weaknesses in their battle plans. The two authorstalk about Robert Townsend that was a merchant and Austin Roe thathad taken a job of a tavern keeper. Besides that, Caleb Brewster,Abraham Woodhull, James Rivington as well as Agent 355, who was awoman, but, they have failed to find her real names. The bookillustrates that “the British had taken New York City and LongIsland— the cornerstones of Washington’s strategy because oftheir valuable geographic and economic positions at the heart of theNorth American colonies” (Kilmeade &amp Yaeger, 2013, p.39). As aresult, Washington had to use the spies in order to get the city backsince it will be a huge milestone in defeating the British as well.

Whatcritique do you find in the claim?

The book has lengthy dialogues that are more than one page, and onemight find it difficult and tiresome to read each and understand themclearly. It is strange how the authors can remember and provide thevivid details of the dialogues that occurred nearly two centuriesago. In this case, one wonders if the events are based on primarysources or just speculation. The authors are able to reveal theday-to-day activities, and how the spies undertook their activities.Even if Kilmeade and Yaeger (2013) can connect the events to supporttheir arguments, it seems strange to remember all those activities.Hence, it is clear that the authors used some aspects of fiction tomake the events more interesting. Besides that, their sources mighthave been unreliable to some extent since most of them were simplysecondary sources that did not have quite credible information tosupport the arguments. The way that the authors use fiction toconnect the events and ensure they align with the thesis shows howthe book has some faulty aspects.

Whatsources did the author use?

Kilmeade and Yaeger used a number of secondary sources in supportingthe arguments that cemented the authority of the thesis. In thiscase, the sources provide the information and examples that justifythe events that occurred at that time.

Werethese sources adequate?

The source “Macy, Harry, Jr. “Robert Townsend, Jr., of New YorkCity.” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 126(1995)” captures the Townsend family and the author interviews oneof his sons to understand his father’s behavior at that time. Inthis case, Robert Townsend Jr. reveals the activities that his fatherundertook and how he helped the Revolutionaries in overthrowing theBritish that were more powerful than them. Even if the explanationmight be susceptible to bias, it still provides an in-depth analysisof the events since Robert Townsend was one of the spies. However,the author could have relied on some primary sources since thefirst-hand information often seems more reliable. In fact, thesecondary sources might be vulnerable to the manipulation and biasinterpretation. Some of the authors might be focused on twisting thefacts as long as they support the particular thesis that they havecreated. Hence, Kilmeade and Yaeger (2013) could have relied oninterviews, letters or even diaries that were written at that time tocompile convincing arguments. The “Paul, Joel Richard. UnlikelyAllies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the AmericanRevolution. New York: Riverhead, 2009” is another sourcethat helps in compiling the arguments used. For instance, the sourceshows the various events that led to the need for the spies. Moreimportant, the book reconstructs the events that capture the weaknessof the forces that the Revolutionaries. It also asserts on theessence of New York, and the reason why Washington wanted to controlit in order to defeat the British army.

MyOverall Impressions of the Monograph

The book is quite informative and unearths some of the events thatled to the British loss during the American Revolution. Moreimportant, it also shows Washington’s creativity in defeating them.In this case, he knew that capturing New York and using other tacticswill be more critical in winning the war. In fact, he had a weakerarmy that only had volunteers that did not have enough skills andexperiencing too. Instead, the British had well-trained soldiers thathad mastered different war techniques that were able to defeat theirenemies. Hence, the help of the six spies was the most convenient wayof turning the tide of the war. In particular, Kilmeade and Yaeger(2013) list the spies and it is clear that they are the ones thatmade the Revolutionaries stronger. The two authors even provideenough evidence and examples to support their thesis, and that is themost important thing. The coherence of the evidence and the way thatit shows the need to create the group of spies makes it moreefficient. Anyone using the book will clearly benefit from the widerange of information and concepts that it offers.


In conclusion, the book reveals how Washington was able to create anetwork of spies that helped him in conquering New York and defeatingthe British. In this case, the authors provide a detailedillustration of the activities that occurred during the AmericanRevolution. The scenario helps in combining the theories and theevents to show how the Revolutionaries were more likely to fail, andthey had to seek another option. For instance, their forces had abroad range of volunteers that did not have the required experienceto fight. Besides that, the British had some sophisticated weaponsthat they could use to destroy Washington’s forces quite easily.Hence, the book justifies how the creation of the group of the spieswas the turning point, and it helped in defeating the colonistsinstead.


Kilmeade, B., &amp Yaeger, D. (2013). George Washington`s SecretSix: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution. New York:Penguin.