SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Van Doren Carl

SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

I have had access to about 4/5 of the material on this revealing documentary evidence concerning the secret spy network established by the British among the Tories of Revolutionary days, and particularly as relating to the oft fictionized Benedict Arnold. Papers of Sir Henry Clinton were discovered in London within the past few years, sold by the Clements Library, Ann Arhor, and released for examination to Carl Van Doren alone. With these as groundwork, and with indefatiguable scholarship, tracing down the secret history of treachery. Mr. Van Doren has brought together primary source material, frequently disproving accepted romantic versions, but presenting in their place a compleat, network of evidences. The first part deals with numerous minor activities and personalities, the major part of the book deals with the Arnold record, checked and double checked, and proving lustvely that Arnold throughout his career, held to self-interest, used his official position to feather his own nest, double-crossed his country repeastelly, demanded exemption from inconveniences other patriots shared. The dealings with the British were a matter not of conviction but of pocketbook- the final move was made only when his demands were agreed to. And in most of this, his wife, Peggy Arnold, shorn of had glamorous cloud, was definitely involved. Implicit in all of this material is a dramatic exciting story. Mr. Van Doren has let the material speak for itself- has refrained from capitalizing on its adventure aspects. This may lose him the mass sales that such a book might have, but will give him a permanent place in the gallery of serious scholars, making his book indubitably an American ""first"" which is an essential item for students of American history everywhere. The section of the book which I have not seen presumably deals with the end of Arnold's career, after the escape. Supplementary note when galleys are available.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1941
Publisher: Viking