A surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, from the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane's Eye. "May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age-a volume that turns one of America's best-known narratives on its head." -Boston Globe "Clear and insightful, it consolidates his reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction." -Wall Street Journal 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.
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by Nathaniel Philbrick
by Nate Kenyon
by Michael C. Grumley
by Tom Young
by Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul
by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
by David Levien
"This fascinating audiobook is further lifted by narrator Scott Brick's impressive performance. Author Nathaniel Philbrick manages to inject humanity into both George Washington and Benedict Arnold, going beyond their respective schoolbook roles of hero and traitor. Brick's dramatic style works well, especially when he is focused on Arnold, who was corrupt, greedy, and egotistical--he firmly believed that he was underappreciated and undercompensated by the Americans. As Arnold moved toward treachery, Washington--whom Philbrick portrays as a flawed general laboring under extreme pressures--maintained faith in him. Brick's theatrical narration distracts occasionally, but mostly suits. The times and the men, after all, combined for high drama. Brick's rendition captures it well. G.S.D. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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