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

Category: Book
By (author): Philbrick, Nathaniel
  HISTORY / Military / United States
  HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Publisher: Viking
Published: May 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 448
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea--soon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Ron Howard--comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.
In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.
            Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington's unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.
Review Quote*Praise for Valiant Ambition

"Philbrick's deep scholarship, nuanced analysis, and novelistic storytelling add up to another triumph."

--Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Bunker Hill

"A masterpiece of narrative and perspective."-Boston Globe

"A tour de force . . ."-Chicago Tribune

"Popular history at its best-a taut narrative with a novelist's touch, grounded in careful research."-Miami Herald

"A story that resonates with leadership lessons for all times."-Walter Isaacson, The Washington Post

"A gripping book."- The Wall Street Journal
Biographical NoteNathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award; Sea of Glory; The Last Stand; Why Read Moby Dick?; and Away Off Shore. He lives in Nantucket.