The First Conspiracy

The First Conspiracy

The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

eBook - 2019
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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.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.In this historical page-turner, New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer teams up with American history writer and documentary television producer, Josh Mensch to unravel the shocking true story behind what has previously been a footnote in the pages of history. Drawing on extensive research, Meltzer and Mensch capture in riveting detail how George Washington not only defeated the most powerful military force in the world, but also uncovered the secret plot against him in the tumultuous days leading up to July 4, 1776.
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9781250130341
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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From Library Staff

In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington's bodyguards. But some of them had a treasonous plan. Just prior to the Revolutionary War, they conspired with New York governor William Tryon and mayor David Mathews against George Washington. This is the story of ... Read More »

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Aug 03, 2020

Pretty Much Just Amazing! It is very fun to read (as it took 1 week). It shows the risk of America not being here and how George Washington was so important to the founding of America.
Pleasure to read!

Jun 08, 2020

This is a wonderful book. Much of which i did not remember from History class.
Brad Meltzer did an excellent job . I do follow his writings. Given the chance, pick up this book. You'll be glad that you did.
Sharon Paisley

Jun 25, 2019

‘Conspiracy’, ‘secret plot’, ‘George Washington’. These phrases in the title alone are enough to grab your attention and draw you into wanting to pick up the book to hear all about its contents. At least, that’s what happened to me when I spotted this book sitting on a New Books display. I snatched it off the shelf and checked it out, adding it to my pile of summer reads. I wanted to like this book. I really did. The subject matter alone is enough to make me want to respond favorably to it. I’m a complete and utter history nerd. Unfortunately, the authors went completely overboard in just about every aspect of this book, and the reader is left frustrated, irritated, and dissatisfied.

To begin with, the authors wrote the entire book in the present tense. This book has been listed under nonfiction, a work of scholarship. Writing it in the present tense serves no purpose other than to heighten the sense of drama, which is particularly irritating when you already know the ultimate ending (spoiler alert: George Washington is not captured and/or killed). I’m here to read about a plot to end the American Revolution in the spring of 1776, even though I already know the ending. I’m here for the factual evidence and having the incident explained. I do not need the tale sensationalized and have it read to me like it’s a thriller novel, not when it is being marketed as nonfiction.

Another issue is that the book literally drags. I read the first 150 pages of this book waiting for them to get to the point, but they keep jumping around from place to place from one chapter to the next. The writers are trying to write a nonfiction book like they would a thriller novel, weaving a bunch of various threads together and how they came to be in this one moment in history where they try to either capture or kill George Washington for the British. One minute I’m reading about Washington’s early success at Boston in bamboozling the British to get them out of the city with minimal loss of life, and then the next we jump to some random people who are trying to start a money counterfeiting ring. My first thought when these people appeared was ‘why should I care about these people? Get me back to the General and get to the damned point of the book!’

In the end, I grew so frustrated with how everything was dragging on and on that I just started flipping through several chapters, barely skimming the words, until I finally got to the point where everything starts coming together. Now, I do not normally recommend such an action. It usually is important to read everything, but in this case? It wasn’t. I essentially skipped about 50 to 70 pages of the book and fell very easily back into the story of how the conspiracy was uncovered and foiled. I understood everything and nothing I missed in those pages that I jumped past seemed to matter one bit.

In all honesty, I think Meltzer and Mensch would have been better served taking their research into this ‘conspiracy’ and writing a fictional account based on that research. Then they could have written an epilogue/afterword summarizing the actual historical incident in question, and how it led to other, similar incidents (John Hale, the Culper Spy Ring, etc). This entire story has all the earmarks of a fascinating work of fiction, but their methods of writing it as nonfiction left a lot to be desired. It was overly sensationalized, and with every bit of cliffhanger language at the end of every single chapter, I was left rolling my eyes. I am not a ten-year-old, thank you.

May 11, 2019

Enjoyable read. It kept you on track with the various players. Interesting format with short chapters and easy transitions moving time wise back and forth. Information of course is somewhat limited about the topic, but the author does a good job filling in the holes I thought. I was a little disappointed with how the end was handled. Seemed a bit anticlimactic, but not sure what else could be done. I do recommend to fans of the Am. Revolution. It’s good that researchers can still get more out of the Revolution.

Dec 26, 2018

The early days of the Revolutionary War are revealed to us in the style of a mystery thriller. With short chapters and little known details, Meltzer keeps our attention and shows us how crucial George Washington was to the beginning of our nation. Much of this narrative takes place before the Declaration of Independence was signed and it is a miracle that the fledgling army weathered the hardships, conspiracies and threat of the massive British army. A very interesting read. Will especially be of interest to readers who enjoyed "George Washington's Secret Six" by Kilmeade.


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