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

Extended Audio Sample Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, by Nathaniel Philbrick Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathaniel Philbrick Narrator: Scott Bric Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I thought I had a pretty good handle on the war. Philbrick proved me wrong with his fascinating history of the years from 1776 to 1780, when the new country teetered between victory and disaster…Philbrick’s eye for the illuminating detail and his clear writing keeps the story taut…Riveting and relevant, Valiant Ambition explodes the myth that a triumphant revolution was inevitable.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Philbrick’s deep scholarship, nuanced analysis, and novelistic storytelling add up to another triumph.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Philbrick weaves exciting accounts of Arnold’s impulsive battlefield exploits with the activities of self-interested military and civil associates into the demythified story of the circumstances of a tragic betrayal. This page-turner will be valued by both casual readers and historians.”

    Library Journal

  • “Philbrick treats his subjects with respect, painting complex portraits of historical figures who were real—and flawed—people. The fluctuating landscapes of loyalty and betrayal, the constant tug of self-interest, and the question of how best to govern a new nation provide nuance and depth.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “A quintessentially American tale that traces the ascent of one great leader and the downfall of another.


  • “A lively account of our Revolutions’ most reviled figure.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for May 2016
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2016
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A 2016 New England Book Award Finalist
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