In Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Nathaniel Philbrick takes a revealing look at the War for Independence and the two generals who kept the rebel nation afloat. Despite the lack of battlefield success, these two men courageously bought time with their defensive and guerilla tactics to wear down the greatest fighting force on earth. But what would cause one general to be venerated as a hero by his country, while the other is still viewed as a traitor to this day?
Valiant Ambition is a well-written narrative of the Revolutionary War, and it splits the story between Generals Washington and Arnold as they attempt to fight a war against the military power of the day with limited resources and an uncooperative Continental Congress. Along with blow-by-blow accounts of pivotal battles, Philbrick also insightfully examines the character of two brilliant men and what caused one man to stand and the other to fall. The plausible explanations he provides add color and intrigue to the history he tells, but without hubris.
Valiant Ambition is both an inspired and instructive read on the American Revolution and the two dominant personalities who ended on opposite sides of the War. I highly recommend it.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.