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Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution reviews

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Nathaniel Philbrick

2016 • Viking

427 pages

My review:

4 of 5 stars

Nathaniel Philbrick is one of my favorite non-fiction writers, and this title did not disappoint. Going in, I must admit I knew almost nothing of Benedict Arnold beyond his status as a byword for traitor.

Philbrick portrays a remarkably consistent Arnold in which the character traits that led him to battlefield heroics also led him to give up the cause for which he had sacrificed. I enjoyed the interwoven storylines and the historical backdrop in which Washington, the Howe brothers, and others made the choices they did.

I wish there had been a longer ending that told more of Arnold's service in the British army.

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