The First Conspiracy

The First Conspiracy

The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

Book - 2019
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"In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington's bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these traitorous soldiers, along with the Governor of New York William Tryon and Mayor David Mathews, launched a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: George Washington himself. This is the story of the secret plot and how it was revealed. It is a story of leaders, liars, counterfeiters, and jailhouse confessors. It also shows just how hard the battle was for George Washington--and how close America was to losing the Revolutionary War. Taking place during the most critical period of our nation's birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington's character, but also illuminates the origins of America's counterintelligence movement that led to the modern day CIA"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250130334
Branch Call Number: 973.41092 MELTZER
Characteristics: x, 413 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Mensch, Josh - Author

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Have your kids read the 2019 adaptation with the same title. (Grades 7 and up)


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USAF1969
Jan 25, 2019

THE FIRST CONSPIRACY by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch is not the usual thriller fare that Brad Meltzer is known for. But it is an awesome read. Meltzer and Mensch lay out a real story that I never heard anything about before - a plot to kidnap or assassinate George Washington in the period not long after he was named to lead the Continental Army in the American Revolution. I really like the book for a couple reasons: 1) it provides an insightful and detailed look at what exactly Washington faced in trying to pull together an army to try and face down what was then the most powerful armed force in the world - in other words, not just the glossed over historical point that Washington was head of the army; 2) it presents a story of conspiracy and subterfuge which if successful, would have probably changed the outcome of our revolution; 3) it helps explain why Washington became so engrossed in developing the practice of intelligence gathering, and by default what would much later become known as counterintelligence; 4) it portrays in vivid fashion Washington's senses of duty, honor, endurance, and commitment to people and causes bigger than himself; and 5) it is an honest story in that it is clear when the authors have evidence in support of the story, and when they are speculating where records no longer exist related to it. I will say honestly that as I read the book, I couldn't help but be drawn to the threads of the challenges Washington faced as a General and how he responded to them as a leader. The parallels from that with leadership issues in our country today were sometimes startling to me, even though the authors never addressed current events at all. The story itself evoked those parallels in me - and made me think, not just learn about the story itself.

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