Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Version: Unabridged
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
Narrator: Scott Brick
Genres: History, Biography & Memoir, North America
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: May 2016
# of Units: 11 CDs
Length: 13 hours, 30 minutes
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From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "In The Heart of the Sea "and "Mayflower "comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.
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.
"Valiant Ambition" is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

Author Details

Author Details

Philbrick, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Philbrick (born 1956) is an American author and a winner of the National Book Award for his work of maritime history In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. His latest work, Mayflower, has received excellent reviews.

Philbrick graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School[1] in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned his bachelor's degree at Brown University, and his master's degree in American literature at Duke University. He moved to Nantucket in 1986.

He is a leading authority on the history of whaling and is the director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies and is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. He lives on Nantucket and is a former intercollegiate All-American sailor and North American Sunfish champion.

Philbrick has also written articles on sailing and American maritime history for Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.

In 2002, he was named the Nathaniel Bowditch Maritime Scholar of the Year by the American Merchant Marine Museum.

Philbrick has written extensively about sailing. His works include The Passionate Sailor and Second Wind: A Sailfish Sailor's Odyssey. He is also the editor of Yaahting, A Parody.

In May 2006, Philbrick published a new history of the founding of the Plymouth colony in the United States, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. On November 6, 2007, Philbrick shared research from this book at a campus forum at Brigham Young University.[2]

Nathaniel is the most prominent member of the Philbrick literary family.