Book Review: Spy Sites of Philadelphia: A Guide to the Region's Secret History


by H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace, with Henry R. Schlesinger

Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2021.. Pp. xvi, 259. Illus., maps, append., biblio., index. $4.95. ISBN: 1647120179

Espionage in the Delaware Valley

Following their earlier books on espionage, counter-espionage, and propaganda in New York and Washington, the authors take a look at the history of espionage and intelligence operations in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. They cover the gamut of American history. The Revolutionary War, the ante bellum and Civil War eras, and World War I each get a chapter. There follows a chapter on intelligence operations by and against the Fascist powers during the 1930s and World War II and another on operations by and against Soviet espionage and subversion in the inter-war period, before concluding with a chapter on the Cold War and its aftermath.

The authors’ approach is informal, informative, and often entertaining. We get a look at the activities of lots of spy masters and agents, some famous, like George Washington or Benedict Arnold, but most not so famous, while touching on numerous operations, most of which never acquired any headlines The book concludes with an appendix on how to visit many of the sites mentioned.

Spy Sites of Philadelphia is a good “first book” for anyone wanting to learn something about the history of espionage, and even someone well-read in the subject will likely find some surprises in here.




Note: Spy Sites of Philadelphia is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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