Hi, I’m Alexander Rose, who wrote Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, the basis for the AMC drama series, Turn: Washington's Spies.
My other books encompass the medieval Anglo-Scottish Wars (Kings in the North: The House of Percy in British History, 1066-1485), a technological history of firearms (American Rifle: A Biography), an analysis of what it’s like to be in combat (Men of War: The American Experience of Battle at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima), and the story of the Hindenburg versus Pan Am as they struggled for mastery of the air during the Golden Age of aviation—Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men’s Epic Duel to Rule the World.
My latest is The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy, which is due to be published by HarperCollins in December 2022—an amazingly convenient time of year for those of you searching for the ideal gift for friends and family.
You can find out more about these books by visiting my website, www.alexrose.com, but as you can perhaps tell from Washington’s Spies and The Lion and the Fox, one enduring interest of mine is the Secret World, that historical habitat of spies and secret agents, adventurers and informers, ciphers and tradecraft.
My focus is on serious intelligence history—a field based on archival research, an appreciation for context, and a sober evaluation of facts—not the sensationalized, anachronistic silliness that usually passes for “spy stuff.”
I particularly enjoy excavating cases of historical espionage involving the obscure, forgotten, or eccentric characters who once plied their trade in the darker and stranger nooks of the Secret World—and so that’s what this Substack is about.1
Over time, I may expand its scope to include reviews, commentaries, extracts, reprints, and perhaps even an audio section (to allow you to experience my, ahem, face-for-radio).
So, please do join me on my visits to the Secret World by subscribing to the official Alexander Rose, accept-no-substitutes, full spectrum, gleamingly 21st century newsletter and website. (I mean, let’s face it, it’s free, so what do you have to lose?)
Fair warning, I’m not going to cover intelligence today; there are plenty of newsletters that do that already. I’m much more intrigued by, say, the 16th-century Venetian Secret Service than by what’s happened this century.