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

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution Audiobook, by Nathaniel Philbrick Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9780147524379
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

"May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age—a volume that turns one of America’s best-known narratives on its head.”

—Boston Globe

"Clear and insightful, it consolidates his reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction."

Wall Street Journal

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. Download and start listening now!


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.”, 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
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of Best History Books of 2016

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick is the National Book Award–winning author of In the Heart of the Sea, Revenge of the Whale, Sea of Glory, and others. Philbrick has won numerous awards for his work, including the Massachusetts Book Award, the Albion-Monroe Award, and the New England Book Award; his book Mayflower was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His book The Last Stand was named an ALA Notable Book and was the basis for a two-hour PBS American Experience film called Custer’s Last Stand. A graduate of Duke and Brown Universities, he currently lives in New England.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. He attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks. winning won more than fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.