It is a dark time for the Americans. As the Revolutionary War rages on, Americans and Brits alike suffer losses. One Benedict Arnold leads a strong force against the British. George Washington trusts this man with his life. Until suddenly the cry of “traitor” can be applied to his friend.
But the story doesn’t start here…
The Arnold family history was one rife with tragedy and success. Benedict Arnold was actually Arnold the III. Ashamed by his father’s reputation as a drunkard and hopeless fool who lost the family fortune, the boy grew up brash, bold, and headstrong. Those who knew him could be quoted as saying he could not stand public scorn and wished to be in the spotlight. As a young man, he made his way in the world, becoming a wealthy young businessman. Later he became a part of the American army, leading a daring fleet of men to Canada that would be unbelievable to most. Through his rise in the ranks of the American army, Benedict Arnold led remarkable forces and committed reckless, but successful acts that could only be described as amazing. Through public scorn, shame, and scandal, he continued his work for the Americans. His turn to “traitor” is a convoluted tale that will draw readers in and make them question their impressions about this historical figure.
In this well told nonfiction read, Steve Sheinkin takes us into the mysteries of American history and explains a complex man who was not only traitor, but friend and hero. I really enjoyed the story and think Benedict Arnold’s story would actually make a remarkable film extravaganza. His adventures are at times unbelievable, but completely entertaining. His turn to traitor is also one of the most interesting portions of the story, as it was actually more than the simple matter I thought it was. I highly recommend this book for all readers. Parents might think to read through this book with their younger children so they can help them better understand what’s going on. Again, a marvelous read and I highly recommend it!