If you have an author whose books continually end up on the bestseller list, there is a reason: it’s because the author consistently writes books that are deeply researched and also entertaining to read. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick is one of those books by one of those authors. Benedict Arnold started out as a patriot devoted to the cause at the start of the American Revolution. He was a fearless soldier who had an amazing knack for sea-battle strategy. So how did he go from hero to traitor?
“They did not have the education and social standing of the zealous patriots who had served during the early years of the Revolution, but they would become the battle-hardened backbone of the Continental Army.”
Widowed at the beginning of the war, not only was Arnold passed over for a promotion that even General George Washington agreed he deserved, his romantic overtures towards a much younger woman were rejected are possible contributing factors presented by Philbrick. The author treats Arnold sympathetically without letting him off the hook for treason. Philbrick proves he is a master of creating nonfiction that reads like a novel and he portrays Benedict Arnold compassionately. Valiant Ambition puts the author back on the bestseller list where he belongs.