NATHAN HALE: The Life and
Death of America's First Spy
The first biography in nearly a century of the
Revolutionary War patriot and our country’s first spy.
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.
Praise for NATHAN HALE …
“… Phelps has written an informative, interesting biography of
Hale that effectively reveals the flesh-and-blood human behind
the iconic image. Clearly an admirer of Hale, he has written
nothing that detracts from Hale's reputation; instead, he has
provided a nuanced portrait … using Hale's own correspondence,
[Phelps] clears up some of the murky details surrounding Hale's
spying, arrest, and execution. This is a well-done, balanced
account of a short but interesting life.
“… M. William Phelps gives a new, fully documented life to this
romantic, long neglected American revolutionary.”
- R.A. Scotti, author of The Sudden Sea and Basilica
“Phelps has written a meticulously-researched biography …
[he] has well captured the excitement of Hale's joining the
Patriot cause in the American Revolution, giving us a fresh
narrative of those tumultuous years.”
- Joyce Appleby, author of Inheriting the Revolution
"… Phelps has written an absorbing, highly detailed biography
of the patriotic Hale. It is a work that at the same time tells
the story of young Hale, army life and the daily battles between
the American and British forces at the start of the war. He
weaves each story together to create a very colorful, emotional
and enjoyable book. …."
- Bruce Chadwick, author of George Washington’s War
“Phelps has brilliantly taken Nathan Hale from the faded
memory of history and reintroduced us … This book speaks to us
today. … Phelps has … given us the insight as to where Hale
found such strength and fortitude. Phelps’ book should be read
by anyone who is responsible for putting lives at risk for our
country. Phelps’ account of Hale’s death is a gut-wrenching
reminder of the consequences of failed leadership.”
- JOSEPH J. TRENTO, author of The Secret History of the CIA
MURDER in the HEARTLAND
AN UNIMAGINABLE CRIME.
AN UNLIKELY PLACE.
AN UNRELENTING KILLER.
On December 16, 2004, a
Nodaway County, Missouri, 911 operator received a frantic call
from the mother of 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett. The
eight-months-pregnant mom-to-be, Bobbie Jo, had been found lying
on her family room floor bleeding profusely and barely
breathing. Most disturbing of all, her baby was gone.
Only 187 miles away in Melvern, Kansas, Bobbie Jo's killer, Lisa
Montgomery, dressed the baby she'd brutally kidnapped in a
Winnie-the-Pooh outfit and called her husband to say that she'd
given birth to a baby girl she called Abigail. While televisions
blared the nation's first Amber Alert for an unborn child, Lisa
proudly showed off "her" new baby at church and a local diner,
duping many while arousing the suspicions of others. And that
was only the beginning of one of the most unthinkable events in
American history, one that shocked the nation and left two
Midwestern communities reeling in the crime's aftermath.
Now, investigative journalist and acclaimed author M. William
Phelps delivers a definitive literary investigation of this
compelling story, one that is as suspenseful as it is
heartbreaking. Working with the exclusive cooperation of Lisa
Montgomery's ex-husband, Carl Boman, Lisa's children and mother,
law enforcement officials, friends, relatives, and neighbors,
Phelps reveals what really happened that fateful day in December
and traces the tortured history of sexual abuse, abandonment,
and desperation that planted the seeds of a potential sociopath
destined for "moral insanity." Here is the true story of the
frantic search for a baby born under the most horrific
conditions imaginable, of the lucky break that led to the
killer, of Lisa's family's fears about her mental health, and of
the shock waves that still linger in two small American towns
that will never be the same again.
Like Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Murder in the
Heartland takes an unflinching look at an American tragedy,
exploring its terrible trajectory with unparalleled courage,
insight, and compassion.
EVERY MOVE YOU
"You've got to
read [Every Move You Make] ... truth is stranger than
fiction. Amazing story by M. William Phelps!" - Catherine Crier, author
of NY Times bestseller A Deadly Game
roller-coaster of a crime story," says New York Times
bestselling author Steve Jackson. "Phelps's book Lethal
Guardian is at once complex, with a plethora of twists and
turns worthy of any great detective mystery, and yet so
well-laid out, so crisply written with such detail to character
and place that it reads more like a novel than your standard
non-fiction crime book."
first-rate investigative examination." - Dr. Michael Baden,
forensic pathologist, host of HBO's Autopsy series, and author
of Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers
and Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner
"A stunner from beginning to end, Phelps renders the story
expertly, with flawless research and an explosive narrative." -
Gregg Olsen, author of several best-selling true crime books,
including Bitter Almonds, Abandoned Prayers,
Mockingbird, and If Loving You Is Wrong: The Shocking
True Story of Mark Kay Letourneau
"In perfect harmony with the best true crime writers, Phelps
unmasks the psychopath with facts, insight and journalistic leg
work." - Lowell Cauffiel, author of Masquerade, Eye of
the Beholder, Forever and Five Days and House of
"Captivating, exciting, a jolt-a-minute. With his encyclopedic
knowledge of police procedures, Phelps earns a deserved place
among the best." - Harvey Rachlin, author of 13 books, including
The Making of a Detective and The Making of a Cop
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