Benedict Arnold: Hero and Traitor

Overview

One of the most controversial figures in American history, Benedict Arnold was born in 1741 into a wealthy Connecticut family. When his family's fortunes soured, he struggled to establish himself as a successful merchant and trader. But the American Revolution offered him an even greater opportunity-the chance to distinguish himself in battle. Arnold emerged as one of the Continental Army's most cunning and courageous generals. Tragically, Arnold was never satisfied with his status or his salary. Convinced that ...
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Overview

One of the most controversial figures in American history, Benedict Arnold was born in 1741 into a wealthy Connecticut family. When his family's fortunes soured, he struggled to establish himself as a successful merchant and trader. But the American Revolution offered him an even greater opportunity-the chance to distinguish himself in battle. Arnold emerged as one of the Continental Army's most cunning and courageous generals. Tragically, Arnold was never satisfied with his status or his salary. Convinced that the American army was persecuting him, Arnold became a traitor, selling military information to the British. Arnold is remembered today as both a great war hero and a treasonous villain.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Benedict Arnold, one subject of Chelsea House's "Leaders of the American Revolution" series, led a turbulent and conflicted life. Brought up in a privileged household, Arnold had difficulty adjusting to his father's business losses and alcoholism. Eventually the troubled teenager became a successful merchant and, after the colonial tax disputes with Britain, a smuggler as well. When the Revolution started in earnest, he signed up as a captain of militia. The author portrays him as ambitious and impulsive, continually seeking recognition for his talents, while his edgy egotism usually defeated his purpose. Success at Fort Ticonderoga brought him command of a disastrous expedition to Canada and later, participation in the decisive battle of Saratoga. His reward was the governorship of Philadelphia, where his arrogance, extravagance, and shady deals made him heartily disliked. When Congress refused to pay him or promote him further and then threatened court martial, Arnold made his decision to desert and hand over the fort at West Point to the British. After the plot was discovered, Arnold was branded a traitor by Americans and never achieved wealth or success in Britain either. Readers will find details of his campaigns, his two marriages, and complexities of the treasonous plot (including the sad fate of Major Andre) well-told, sometimes quite dramatically. The text is illustrated with prints and paintings of the time, including one stunning color view of West Point. Extra features are long sidebars with more details, a timeline, a chronology, and a short bibliography. 2006, Chelsea House, Ages 12 to 16.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-These books begin by introducing readers to the subjects, proceed chronologically through the men's lives, and then briefly summarize their legacy. Back matter includes both a time line and chronology that duplicate one another. One or two black-and-white or color reproductions appear in most chapters. All are clear, captioned, and well placed. Several chapters also contain two-page fact boxes. Those in Arnold tie in nicely with the adjacent text; those in Washington often do not. However, because these boxes are often placed mid-sentence, they break the flow of the narratives. That aside, both authors cover their subjects well enough for report writers to obtain enough adequate information. Sonneborn's introduction to Arnold focuses on his betrayal, grabbing readers and drawing them into his life. Both authors present well-balanced portrayals of their subjects, including both positive and not-so-successful aspects of their lives. Although much has been written about these two famous historical figures, especially George Washington, most libraries would do well with these titles.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791086179
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Leaders of the American Revolution Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 136
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Vulture 1
2 Struggling for Recognition 12
3 Attack on Ticonderoga 25
4 Invading Canada 37
5 On Land and on Sea 48
6 The Battles of Saratoga 60
7 A General in Philadelphia 72
8 A Traitor to the Cause 83
9 Fighting America 96
10 In Disgrace 108
Chronology and Timeline 120
Notes 123
Bibliography 124
Further Reading 125
Index 126
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