Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy

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9781423374046: Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy

Few Americans know much more about Nathan Hale than his famous last words: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” But who was the real Nathan Hale? M. William Phelps charts the life of this famed patriot and Connecticut’s state hero, following Hale’s rural childhood, his education at Yale, and his work as a schoolteacher. Even in his brief career, he distinguished himself by offering formal lessons to young women. Like many young Americans, he soon became drawn into the colonies’ war for independence, becoming a captain in Washington’s army. When the general was in need of a spy, Hale willingly rose to the challenge, bravely sacrificing his life for the sake of American liberty. Using Hale’s own journals and letters as well as testimonies from his friends and contemporaries, Phelps depicts the Revolution as it was seen from the ground. From the confrontation in Boston to the battle for New York City, listeners experience what life was like for an ordinary soldier in the struggling Continental army. In this impressive, well-researched biography, Phelps separates historical fact from long-standing myth to reveal the life of Nathan Hale, a young man who deserves to be remembered as an original American patriot.

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About the Author:

Investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the author of I’ll Be Watching You, If Looks Could Kill, Because You Loved Me, Murder in the Heartland, Perfect Poison, Lethal Guardian, Every Move You Make, and Sleep in Heavenly Peace. He has appeared on dozens of national radio and television programs, including Good Morning America, Court TV, The Discovery Channel, Geraldo at Large, and Montel Williams, and has consulted for the Showtime cable television series Dexter. He lives in a small Connecticut farming community with his wife and children.

From AudioFile:

Nathan Hale passed into legend as "America's first official spy." Phelps looks into the real life behind that legend, including that famous quote--"I only regret that I have but one life . . ."--which Hale probably never uttered. Early on, Hale's life was ordinary--he studied at Yale, pursued the ladies, and taught school--and even Phil Gigante's bold, urgent reading doesn't do much to change that. However, as Hale gets involved in the American Revolution and eventually becomes a spy, the book--and Gigante's reading--gain steam, becoming exciting and compelling. Phelps weaves descriptions of the era and the Hale family's anxiety over the revolutionary's fate into his account as he reveals how an ordinary life became an extraordinary legend. J.A.S. AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

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