In the summer of 1778, General Washington needed to know where the British would strike next. To that end, he unleashed an unlikely ring of spies in New York charged with discovering the enemy's battle plans. Washington's band included a young Quaker torn between political principle and family loyalty, a swashbuckling sailor addicted to the perils of espionage, a hard-drinking barkeep, a Yale-educated cavalryman, and a peaceful, sickly farmer who begged to let him retire but always came through in the end. Personally guiding these everyday heroes was Washington himself. In an era when officers were gentlemen, and gentlemen didn't spy, he possessed a talent for deception--and proved an adept spymaster. The men he mentored were dubbed the Culper Ring. Historian Rose tells an unknown story of the Revolution--the murderous intelligence war, gunrunning and kidnapping, defectors and executioners--that has never appeared in the history books.--From publisher description.