The Life and Death of America's First Spy
By M. William Phelps
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312376413, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 16, 2008
List Price: $25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
The first biography in nearly a century of the legendary Revolutionary War patriot and our country’s first spy.
Few Americans know much more about Nathan Hale than his famous last words: “I only regret that I have one life left to give 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, readers 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.
M. WILLIAM PHELPS is a veteran journalist and the author of seven nonfiction books. He has written articles for the Providence Journal, the Hartford Courant, and New London Day, and has been profiled in such publications as the Writer’s Digest, New York Daily News, Newsday, the Albany Times-Union, the Hartford Courant, and the New York Post. He has also consulted for television and has appeared on the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, Biography Channel, History Channel, Fox News Channel, CN8, and ABC’s Good Morning America, among many others. He lives in a small Connecticut farming community, about four miles from the Nathan Hale Homestead, with his wife, children, and Labrador retriever.