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George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots
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George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Fateful turns, choices and escapes from certain death dominate this captivating story of the most compelling figures of the Revolutionary War. When General George Washington appointed Benedict Arnold military commander of the Philadelphia region, military historian Palmer argues, he was not only making one of the worst personnel decisions of his career, but was also creati ...more
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Regnery History (first published January 1st 2006)
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4.27  · 
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 ·  272 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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David Eppenstein
I've read several books dealing with the lives of both of these men. While Mr.Palmer's book offers nothing particularly new about Washington (how could it considering how exhaustively his life has been examined?) it is the best treatment of Arnold I have read to date. This book chronicles Arnold's metamorphosis from selfless patriot hero to self-serving treacherous villain in vivid detail. Palmer also makes a convincing case for the complicity of Mrs. Arnold in the general's plot. I am hoping a ...more
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: personal growth, business mgmt, military history
Shelves: politics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very interesting, and easy to read contrast between Washington and Arnold. Although there were no footnotes, sources, or bibliography, it was filled with facts conveyed in such a way to make them highly interesting and easy to remember. The author had fun pointing out the irony that surrounded the events and people involved, making history engaging. I've read at least three biographies on Benedict Arnold, each filled with sources and footnotes, and didn't enjoy any of those near as much as thi ...more
Mark Pasquini
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best tactician and the best strategist of the Revolution were friends and admirers of each other. Though both had fierce tempers, Arnold let his fly at those he felt deserved the edge of his tongue. Washington tried to protect him from his enemies, but failed. Arnold, as the general who nearly took Quebec after a hellish march through the Maine wilderness, held up Burgoyne for a year on Lake Champlain, stopped St. Leger in the Mohawk Valley and led the counter-attack against Burgoyne at Sara ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was dull as dust. There’s a real need out there for a great biography of Benedict Arnold. This isn’t it.
Leanne Houser
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was very well written. It held my attention on a subject I never thought to be interesting, American history.
David Rogers
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's rather a sad story. Had Benedict Arnold died in 1778 he would have gone down as one of the great military generals of the Revolutionary War. But his erratic, selfish nature did him in. It was also interesting to read about the backstabbing and pettiness that existed back then. Not much has changed. At its core the book was about two people with very different character traits. While Washington is all but deified by Americans, Benedict Arnold's courage in the beginning of the War was oversha ...more
Philip Cosand
This is a nice enough introduction to Arnold and Washington.

Most of what I know about Washington comes from passed-down cultural knowledge and Washington's Spies (look up book).

I had no idea that Arnold was such a daredevil. I didn't know that he was a brilliant and bold fighter. I certainly didn't know that he was a brilliant businessman and widely respected. Y'know, before that whole betrayal thing.

Palmer does a solid job of setting up the two main characters, telling you just enough about the
John Hanson
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the read. I am an American expat and have had much less American history in my schooling than the typical American does. I also live in Canadian the city Benedict Arnold moved to. I regularly visit the Second Cup coffee shop next door to where his home sat. I soaked in this book.

I am bothered by a couple of points. Mr. Palmer takes the typical American stance that Arnold is an evil, American traitor. His text reads rather neutral, until the late stages, and he actually devotes more pri
Laura Stahl
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great read! I read this about 3 years ago. It is fascinating to read about the friendship between these two men. I didn't know anything about Arnold before reading this. I was unaware of why he became a traitor. And, to be honest, I can empathize with his anger. It's got to be difficult to be responsible for so many lives, yet the government can't or won't provide for their needs. Given the times, I can understand the government's very limited funds. Yet, I can see how Arnold became disenchant ...more
Bernard  Goldbach
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Dave Palmer's treatment of both Arnold and Washington. Previously, the most I knew about Washington came from touring Mount Vernon and the most I heard about Arnold concerned his traitorous acts. Palmer shows Arnold's daredevil side along with his brilliant and bold fighting spirit. I appreciated reading about Benedict Arnold's astute business sense and how he enjoyed great respect i his community. I certainly didn't know that he was a brilliant businessman and widely respected. Y'know ...more
David Orphal
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
First off, the bad news. The Audible version of this book is not very good. Lots of strange skips, hiccups, and short passages reread. Audible needs to reedit this product.

Now the good news. Great book. While there's not a lot of new information about either Washington or Arnold in the book, the approach of looking at the careers of these two men in parallel is interesting and refreshing.

The author also does a great job at the end of the book looking at how each of these men embodies the idea
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a most appropriate read for anyone interested in learning about, not just these two patriots, the story of our country before and during our quest for independence. Dave Palmer lays out the events and places in a way that kept me craving to know and understand what comes next and why. The book climaxes with the details of Arnold's treason and how he lived after his deception became evident to all. The words describing the unparalleled leader, George Washington, are superb and left me wit ...more
Betty Ann Baer
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This is an amazing book that I learned so much history from. I found out the war between England and the colonies began in 1776. It went for 4 years. Arnold fought diligently for the US but was picked on by other soldiers that were jealous of him or didn't like his style. The author made it feel like the US treated him poorly and he became so mad that he became a traitor right at the very end of the war.
Michelle Brooksby
This book was extremely interesting because of where I live. So much of the Revolutionary War was fought close by me and I'm familiar with their locations. I also learned much more than I'd ever known before about Benedict Arnold. Though what he did was wrong, after reading the book one can see how he might have felt justified in what he was doing.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fine, fine story of Benedict Arnold, and how he came to become the most notorious traitor in US history. I never knew what a military genius he was, nor how Congress completely screwed him over. While not justifying his behavior, the context around his life was eye-opening and educational. I enjoyed it very much!
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A very well written book. The author is not necessarily giving historical facts here as much as he is using history to show how certain events can lead two different men to very different destinies. He really sums it up excellently at the end with a befitting quote about character. This is a remarkably well written book.
I didn't even finish this book and I don't even think I can rate it. I was disturbed not to find any source material listed. I also was disappointed when I found that it was more a history of of the Revolution with bits of Washington and Arnold's personal stories, instead of the reverse. Not a great book for someone who is serious about research.
Jun 07, 2007 rated it liked it
An excellent jumping off point -- well written, and gives a good overview of Washington & Arnold's lives. However, a bit fast with facts -- I should say: it doesn't document many of its claims, so I'm a bit skeptical of where the conclusions are coming from.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable and illuminating read, Mr. Palmer separately tells the stories of both patriots as they each blaze their own path, until they artfully converge at the end, bringing the story to full focus.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
not a bad little book. has a lot of detail and does a good job of describing the circumstances that existed around washington and arnold. i feel a bit of bias in the read, but it is enjoyable to see the relationship between these two men of history
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Embarrassed to say that I never knew exactly why Benedict Arnold turned traitor. This is a really interesting book that will deepen your appreciation for how great a person Washington was, and give you all the info on Benedict Arnold. A must read if you are an American!
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely fantastic. The parallels between these two great men are amazing. Many people think they know the story of Washington and Arnold because of what they may have learned in History class but this book takes it to another level.
Tyler Tatton
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book that gives you a in depth look into the character of these two men. I never knew the role that Benedict Arnold played in the American Revolution and that he was a patriot General before he betrayed America. I recommend this to everyone.
Brad Hart
Nov 09, 2007 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. Unfortunately, I was expecting a little more out of it. There was nothing new in terms of historical significance that came as a result of this book. The author just recounts the same story that has been told for a long time. It is entertaining at least.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Didn't realize how little I knew about George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Revolutionary War before I read this. Fascinating history.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I dont want to do this...
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well written and chronicled.
Joe Oaster
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
one of the best books on leadership that I have ever read.

Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it
What started out as 2 men on the same mission, turned very different. Great story putting them side by side.
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