Valiant Ambition

Valiant Ambition

George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Book - 2016
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"The National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea presents an account of the complicated middle years of the American Revolution that shares lesser-known insights into the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, "--NoveList.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2016]
ISBN: 9780525426783
Characteristics: xix, 427 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits, black and white ; 24 cm.


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May 30, 2019

Good read, lots of focus on Genl Arnold and Major Andre. Kept me engaged, and really developed Arnold's character. Good stuff about Peggy Shippen too. Tied all the major players together very well and gave me a sense for the circumstances around Arnold's treason. Epilogue nicely tied up the real meaning to America of Arnold's defection.

Nov 09, 2016

A good bet for any Philbrick fan (which I am already) - and better than most since it has a strong human drama at its heart. A careful appraisal of the man Arnold, both sympathetic and unapologetic of his flaws, showing fundamental humanity as well as the dynamic shifts in his person that led to the act of betrayal.
Philbrick even credits this event with eventual redemptive good, as the American people thought about what their ideals were in a new way.

Aug 15, 2016

So what made America's greatest military man flip to the British? Two battlefield injuries that went unrecognized, being passed over for promotion within the ranks several times, and wrongful accusations of malfeasance while serving as Mayor of Philadelphia. Perhaps it was greed, or perhaps he just reached the breaking point. Either way, the unsuccessful surrender of West Point to the British was the turning point of the American Revolution. Philbrick gives a great background as to how it all happened.

Jun 29, 2016

Great story to bring the history of the American Revolution into context, warts and all. the book confirms why Washington is such a great man.

Jun 27, 2016

This is a follow up to Philbrick's excellent "Bunker Hill" and will be followed by a book on Yorktown in a few years.
I saw Philbrick speak recently about the book and I could tell he had a deep fascination with Benedict Arnold. The Arnold story is very interesting and I was caught up with it until he was military governor of Philadelphia and I have to admit I wasn't as taken with his story as with Joseph Warren's in the first book of the trilogy.
Even with my lack of enthusiasm for the Arnold story, I am very appreciative for Philbrick's solid writing and his description of the factions in Congress and the differences between loyalists and patriots, and the economics classes. I also have learned more about George Washington and his character by reading this series. I look forward to "Yorktown" and films that may be spawned by this rock solid and engaging series.

Jun 02, 2016

Really puts you on the ground during the long slog of the American Revolution. Very convincing thesis that Benedict Arnold's heroics and ultimate treason woke up American leaders and united them to fund and finish the war.


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