Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies. Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of Belle Boyd, Emma Edmonds, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, and Elizabeth Van Lew, through the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy lures you into the lives of daring women—19th century style.
Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul, American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, and, most recently, The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz- Age America, named an Amazon best book of the month for August 2019. She has written for newyorker.com, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Salon and other publications.
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