The Real Benedict Arnold
By Jim Murphy
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780395776094, 272pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
List Price: $20.00*
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Every account of the American Revolution mentions Benedict Arnold and brands himcorrectlyas a traitor. There’s no question that Arnold, an American army officer, switched his loyalty to the British side. Over the years, however, historians, partisans, and gossips have added to Arnold’s unsavory reputation by distorting, embroidering, or simply ignoring factual details.
In this informed and thoughtful account, Jim Murphy goes in search of the real man behind the traitor” label, rumors, and folktales that became part of the Benedict Arnold legend. Drawing on Arnold’s few surviving writings and on the letters, memoirs, and political documents of his contemporaries, Murphy builds a fascinating portrait of a brilliant man, consistently undervalued by his peers, who made a choice that continues to reverberate through American history. Dramatic accounts of crucial battles and political maneuvers round out this lively biography of a patriot who could have been a hero.
Jim Murphy is the author of An American Plague, which received the Sibert Medal and a Newbery Honor and was selected as a National Book Award finalist. His Clarion titles include The Boy's War and other award-winning nonfiction as well as a picture book, Fergus and the Night-Demon. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his family. For more information visit www.jimmurphybooks.com.
"Perhaps we can never know the real Arnold, but this splendid biography brings us close ... fascinating reading." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"As always, Murphy's prose is clear and detailed.... An important addition to collections on the American Revolution." Kirkus Reviews
This well-developed account will be valuable to Revolutionary War enthusiasts, and the index andf bibliogaphic notes will assist report writers in junior high and beyond.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The author's consideration of other historians' theories and use of sophisicated vocaulary will challenge his audience to think critically and conisder all points of view.
Perhaps we can never know the real Arnold, but this splendid biography brings us close.The final section provides fascinating reading as well as additional resources.
Book Links, ALA
Buffs of the era, military enthusiasts, and biography readers will be entranced by this fascinating, well-researched volume.
School Library Journal, Starred
Murphy examines both rumors and facts about Arnold so that readers can 'see Benedict Arnold in as fair and as objective a way as possible.
This fast-paced, interesting, and well-written book sheds light on who he was before his traitorous act and why he chose to commit it.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)