Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty
General Benedict Arnold’s failed attempt to betray the fortress of West Point to the British in 1780 stands as one of the most infamous episodes in American history. In the light of a shining record of bravery and unquestioned commitment to the Revolution, Arnold’s defection came as an appalling shock. Contemporaries believed he had been corrupted by greed; historians have theorized that he had come to resent the lack of recognition for his merits and sacrifices.
In this provocative book Stephen Brumwell challenges such interpretations and draws on unexplored archives to reveal other crucial factors that illuminate Arnold’s abandonment of the revolutionary cause he once championed.
By Stephen Brumwell. Published by Yale University Press, 2018. 384 pages, hardcover