I, BENEDICT ARNOLD: The Anatomy of Treason by Cornel Lengyel

I, BENEDICT ARNOLD: The Anatomy of Treason

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The fascinating story of Arnold's defection from the Rebel cause is here given its first dramatic narrative treatment by Cornel Lengyel, known for Four Days in July: The Story Behind the Declaration of Independence. Lengyel fastens upon the character of the man, a buccaneer type of high courage and aims if not ideals, and portrays the hero of the Revolution as he turns archtraitor. His assault on Quebec, his seizing Burgoyne's redoubt at Bemis Heights, his fending for Connecticut's shores, all his greatnesses became eroded with inter-officer bickerings, the call of court martials, the refusal of the Continental Congress to reimburse him for supplies, the wound that kept him from active command, the action of Reed against him in Philadelphia, where he became an unpopular military governor and married the young but worldly Peggy Shippen. When the keep of West Point fell to him by design, his opportunity to offer the last great Rebel stronghold to Clinton and destroy the Rebel cause gave rise to dark doings on the Hudson. Major Andre's story is tellingly narrated, and the ironic circumstance of his capture by three men looking out for smugglers when he had reached neutral ground, is well told. Lengyel drops Arnold after his discovery and flight, simply remarking on the aftermath. Sound but superficial, with exciting pace. Good reading. Lengyel drew from the primary sources -- including the coded letters that passed between Arnold and Andre.

Publisher: Doubleday