BENEDICT ARNOLD by Jeannette Covert Nolan


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This particular biography takes Arnold from the time he was eighteen and a deserter from the boring drudgery of the French and Indian wars to his last, embittered years in Britain. The main events of his life are present in full and familiar detail success as a New Haven merchant; the fight with Ethan Allen during his first command in the Revolutionary War; his resentment at not being made a senior Major General as the fighting and his military accomplishments progressed; his sojourn in Philadelphia and gradual slipping towards the British side as his resentments were built up to a climax. It is a narrative that, with its continual references to Arnold's meanness, pomp and manipulation of people and events to serve his own ends, cannot fall to rouse one's dislike and, in the end, pity. But perhaps, to make it more complete book, some mention should have been made of the possible reasons for his behaviour. At this age level, readers are capable of grasping at least some of the psychological factors that might have had a bearing on Arnold's life and should not be left merely with the fact that he was a traitor and a broken man.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1956
Publisher: Messner