Title: Valiant Ambition
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
Publisher: Viking 2016
Genre: Nonfiction - U.S. History
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Perpetual (NonAd); Nonfiction; Popsugar - Blue Cover
In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.
Apparently I am in the middle of a huge American Revolution kick. J and I are obsessed with watching Turn on AMC and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. Nevermind that I've always been a fan of history, I've found myself craving history books lately. I few weeks back I finished Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea and realized that he had just released a new book centered on the American Revolution. Thankfully I spied it at the library last week and immediately snatched it up. So good! In general I know how this story played out, but I was constantly fascinated by the details. It was the little things along with excerpts from letters that sucked me into the story. I was riveted from page one. Philbrick definitely has a way with narrative history. Never once did I get lost or confused by the information. I went along on the journey highlighting what would ultimately be two opposing forces: Washington and Arnold. I think I liked this one better than Philbrick's Mayflower. Fascinating story! Now I want to run off and get the book that Turn the television series is based on. Guess I need some more American Revolution in my life.