BEECHER WHITE

 
Full Name: Beecher White
Nationality: American
Organization: Culper Ring
Occupation Agent

Creator: Brad Meltzer
Time Span: 2011 - 2015
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Beecher White is an agent with the Culper Ring.
       At least he becomes one during the adventures detailed in this series. At the beginning he is an archivist with the National Archives in the nation's capital, one of many responsible for cataloging, preserving, and on many occasions retrieving from storage items of significance in the nearly two and a half centuries the U.S. has been around. Being a huge fan of history with a sharp mind and a terrific memory, he loves his job and is not looking or wanting anything else.
       In his personal life things are not as comfortable. He has recently broken with his fiancĂ©e and that wound is still too raw to touch which might be why the sudden appearance of a childhood crush seeking help seemed like a great thing to him. He remembered fondly the feelings he had as a kid when he got his first kiss and the thought of seeing her again was exciting and something he really looked forward to. The reunion would change his life forever and not necessarily in a good way.
       Which brings us to the Culper Ring.
       In 1778, George Washington was in need on intelligence on what the British were doing so he asked a trusted Major Tallmadge to set up a couple of individuals to live in and around New York where the British headquarters was, all to learn whatever they could of upcoming operations to better prepare the colonists's independence activities. The first two actual members of team so assigned took the alias of Samuel Culper, senior and junior, and the information they would garner and pass on would be of tremendous aid to the war effort. Others would join the Ring as time went on and the list of successes the Culper Ring had would grow. The existence of the Culper Ring was not widely known even after it ceased to exist and was only widely revealed in the early 1900's. By then it was just an interesting footnote in the United States' separation from the British.
       But while it did fade further into the shadows, the Culper Ring did not disband and cease to exist but rather morphed into a highly secret organization dedicated to the service and protection of the Presidency. Its small numbers allowed it to operate with far less worry of discovery but its membership was highly selective so to have people in key positions to perform its duties. These were not leaders of industry or politics or persons of wealth and power for their actions would be too obvious and monitored. Rather these members of the Ring were middle managers at best, unnoticed and unsung but ubiquitous and able to know what was going on and do subtle things to manipulate larger results.
       Key to its mission was the defense of the Presidency - not specifically the President and that was a distinction that would play a major role in the actions of its newest member, Beecher White, for the President was a human being, flawed and able to do many things less than honorable and thus not worthy of protection. The Presidency, however, was a concept well deserving of defense and support.
       Many members of the Ring would in the 200+ years of the nation see the difference and have to act to keep the office of the President something well respected and honored when the current resident was far less so. White would become the latest agent of the Culper Ring to have to deal with a Chief Executive who was decidedly flawed and who did a very bad thing years before and would do even more bad things while in office to keep it secret.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2015

1 The Inner Circle The Inner Circle
Written by Brad Meltzer
Copyright: 2011

While trying to impress a childhood crush, Beecher White shows her to a secret area in the Archives which the President at times. They discover something hidden there they should not have and people start paying for it.

2 The Fifth Assassin The Fifth Assassin
Written by Brad Meltzer
Copyright: 2013

Four Presidents have fallen to an assassin's attack. Beecher White learns that there was something that connects them all and that there is someone active in Washington that can also be related.

3 The President's Shadow The President's Shadow
Written by Brad Meltzer
Copyright: 2015

A severed arm is found buried in the Rose Garden. The President needs the help of the Culper Ring to find out who buried it and why. Beecher White is brought in to help.

MY COMMENTS

       I've always had a strange relationship with conspiracy theories. I love a good mystery and enjoy sifting through clues to come up with the truth. I cannot honestly say I am any good at it and often do not "uncover" the same culprit as the author but I enjoy it. A conspiracy, however, tends to annoy me rather than excite as I remember Ben Franklin's oft-quoted line "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."
       The idea that a often large group could keep a secret for very long always flies in to face of reason and experience. Someone always wants to tell. A conspiracy theory, therefore, usually falls apart when closely examined.
       Which is why the Culper Ring's presentation is so well done. The membership is not a large group. The members are not people who want, or need, to get noticed. And their objective is first and foremost one of secrecy.
       Then you throw in the fact that the author is one heck of a storyteller and you have the makings of a terrific yarn.
       And the twist that the Culper Ring exists to preserve the Presidency, not the President, is inspired!

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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