Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

This book discusses the life of Benedict Arnold from his adventurous youth, to his quest for importance and wealth, through his success and disappointments during the Revolutionary War, and to his failed attempt to end the war with Britain by allowing the British to overtake West Point and capture Washington.  Sheinkin does a good job of revealing the possible motives of Arnold and talking about his accomplishments that are often overlooked in our national disdain.  The author also parallels the story with that of his accomplice John Andre. 

I found this book to be very interesting.  I was not aware of the many accomplishments of Benedict Arnold before he turned traitor.  The March to Quebec is an unrivaled feat through Maine during the fall and early winter of 1775.  In addition, Arnold’s contributions during the Battle of Valcour Island and the Battle of Saratoga were amazing.  At the very end of the book Sheinkin states “If Arnold had dies from his wounds at the Battle of Saratoga, we would think of him today as one of the all-time great American heroes” (page 306).  He then describes a monument at the site of the Battle of Saratoga that alludes to Arnold’s heroism but does not mention his name.  These references are haunting.  Oh how the mighty have fallen.


No comments:

Post a Comment