the irony of Benedict Arnold

One of the most surprising books I’ve read so far in 2008 has been Benedict Arnold’s Navy, by James L. Nelson.  General Arnold’s stellar performance in the northern campaign was critical in turning the tide of the war in the Americans’ favor, even at international game-changing levels.  His tireless service to country reached a peak at Saratoga, where he fought most honorably:

It has been pointed out often enough that if Arnold had died at the Battle of Saratoga – as, perhaps, he hoped – he would have joined that pantheon of Revolutionary War heroes […]

It seems a tragic irony that the man whose name is now synonymous with the word “traitor” in America was a first rate soldier for America, yet a two-bit bungler for the British.  Read Nelson’s outstanding history to know a much fuller Arnold story – his enormously positive contributions to our Founding deserve our attention alongside his misdeeds.

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