BENEDICT ARNOLD, HERO AND TRAITOR by Cateau deLeeuw

BENEDICT ARNOLD, HERO AND TRAITOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Too distilled, too assumptive, too cliched, and too preoccupied with foreshadowing the Fall to contribute much of the essence of Arnold as Hero. Other men were unacknowledged and unsatisfied but ""They did not scheme to betray their country. They did not have the fatal flaws of pride, ambition, and greed which Were combined in Arnold to such an astonishing extent."" That, in the Foreword, serves as thesis here, and all else is organized to perceive the pattern of the ""fatal flaws"": before his father's business failed ""Benedict had been able to look down on poorer children."" Thereafter ""he could not forget the years in which he had been a nobody,"" so when antagonized by Congress ""Certainly, he was now tempted to put self above country."" Some early episodes are generalized, to suggest that he might indeed have been guilty of many of the unprovable charges levied against him ""because he had. . . not been too honorable"" in the past. The intricacies of the spy incident are more clearly, more factually explained in Adele Gutman Nathan's recent book on John Andre; Arnold's distinction as a military man is more fully extenuated in the McKown book below (p. 1327, J-543). This one depicts a depressed, obsessed man--small wonder that it says ""Small Wonder that there were times when black despair washed over him in a drowning wave.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Putnam