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Interview: Listen in as Brad Meltzer talks with Audible editor Christina Harcar about how The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot Against George Washington came to be, shares a funny story on how his longstanding work relationship with narrator Scott Brick started, and reinforces why his children's books focus on real-life heroes.

I think a big part for us is not just to tell the story of a murder plot to kill him, but to figure out George Washington himself.

  • The First Conspiracy
  • I think a big part for us is not just to tell the story of a murder plot to kill him, but to figure out George Washington himself.

Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus conversation with the authors. 

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 masterpiece, New York Times best-selling 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.

Praise for The First Conspiracy:

"This is American history at its finest, a gripping story of spies, killers, counterfeiters, traitors - and a mysterious prostitute who may or may not have even existed. Anyone with an interest in American history will love this book." (Douglas Preston, number-one best-selling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God)

“A wonderful book about leadership - and it shows why George Washington and his moral lessons are just as vital today. What a book. You’ll love it.” (President George H.W. Bush)

“This is an important book: a fascinating largely unknown chapter of our hazardous beginning, a reminder of why counterintelligence matters, and a great read.” (President Bill Clinton)

©2019 Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-09-19

Brilliantly written and narrated!

There is little new in THE FIRST CONSPIRACY, but this is the first book to provide this level of detail about the 1775 - 1776 secret plot against General George Washington the newly appointed leader of the American forces against British rule of the American colonies. Even in his wonderful 42 hour biography Washington historian Ron Chernow is forced to give short shrift to this conspiracy topic. We owe authors Meltzer and Mensch a debt of gratitude for this work. Since Scott Brick has narrated all of Brad Meltzer's novels it is no surprise that he narrates this non-fiction masterpiece.

THE FIRST CONSPIRACY will appeal to students of US history and it should also appeal to lovers of espionage thrillers.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Provisional review

I'm over an hour into the audio book. Excellent narration and a fascinating story. Descriptive, good narrative flow and engaging. Recommended for any interested in this time period.

Today is Jan 8 2019. The audiobook released this morning. I'm comparing and contrasting the descriptions of behavior with those of today's politicians. Very sobering.

Outlander fans will be engaged by the Washington -Tryon story.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Meltzer clears the Green Monster

I fell in love with Brad via the History channel shows. As a history buff, I love real life mysteries and the process of untangling history to understand them, and Brad does such a fantastic job of bringing them to life on the digital screen. I learned about this book while attending a book signing for the children's series in Houston, TX and was immediately set on fire. It took quite awhile for the AB version to drop but I had it pre-Purchased and waited breathlessly for that message from Audible that it was ready. Coincidentally, it dropped in the middle of a 2 month vacation, so it took jostling of my schedule to work it in but as I lay here in the cold North-English winter, wrapped in a giant comforter, I finished it. Thanks for throwing in the interview at the end!

George Washington is such an intriguing character in general history, and a beacon of American history. Never is it more evident that no matter the mistakes made, the lack of experience, or the humble beginnings, fate touched him, making him the perfect man doing the perfect job at the perfect moment to astound the world with the least predictable military coup in history to that time. America couldn't have been born with out him and this book really puts such a raw but distinct headlight on that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fasinating Account of Some Early Turncoats

This account of some loyalists who conspired against George Washington early in the Revolutionary War. It reads like a novel and shows Washington as a believable leader. It portrayed this time and circumstance so realistically that I could not put it down. Having grown up in the area of New York and Long Island it had a special meaning to me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book

History books can often be monotonous and boring. Not this one. Loved it. will be listening again for sure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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absolutely amazing!

i devoured this book! Brad Meltzer needs to do more nonfiction!

The narrator was incredible and the story was riveting.

will be looking for more books from Brad and the narrator!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best history I've ever read!

I like history but it's usually quite dry and mostly a string of facts. And I don't really trust historical fiction. This book however brings all the documented facts into a suspenseful unfolding and is read by Brick with a passionate delivery. It is also a tribute and reminder of a truly great and competent leader. Everyone should read this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional!

I love history. I've been fascinated by history since my father was a history teacher for more than 35 years. I wish they would have taught this kind of history when I was in school. But it's fascinating to discover new plots, espionage, new Departments of our government, and the reasons why in the background that things have happened in our own US history.

What I found fun about this book, is the narrator's ability to be able to put you in a feeling of, dun dun dun. Great story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Goosebumps to be an American

Thx Brad for showing us that history can be a thrilling ride and edge of seat time

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A bit too long

Though I learned a good deal and the narration was excellent, I found too much detail revealed. Well written but too long. I found myself mentally wondering off and losing my place from time to time.