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Lecture: Joyce Malcolm “The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life”

November 21, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


As part of the Fall 2019 Lecture Series sponsored by the Sons of the
Revolution in the State of New Jersey, Joyce Malcolm will speak about her
book “The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life ” on Tuesday,
November 14 at 7 PM. Books will be available for purchase in the
Quartermaster’s Store Gift Shop.

Finalist, 2019 George Washington Book Prize

A vivid and timely re-examination of one of young America’s most
complicated figures: the war hero turned infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold.

Proud and talented, history now remembers this conflicted man solely
through the lens of his last desperate act of treason. Yet the fall of
Benedict Arnold remains one of the Revolutionary period’s great puzzles.
Why did a brilliant military commander, who repeatedly risked his life
fighting the British, who was grievously injured in the line of duty, and
fell into debt personally funding his own troops, ultimately became a
traitor to the patriot cause?

Historian Joyce Lee Malcolm skillfully unravels the man behind the myth and
gives us a portrait of the true Arnold and his world. There was his
dramatic victory against the British at Saratoga in 1777 and his troubled
childhood in a pre-revolutionary America beset with class tension and
economic instability. We witness his brilliant wartime military exploits
and learn of his contentious relationship with a newly formed and fractious
Congress, fearful of powerful military leaders, like Arnold, who could
threaten the nation’s fragile democracy.

Throughout, Malcolm weaves in portraits of Arnold’s great allies―George
Washington, General Schuyler, his beautiful and beloved wife Peggy Shippen,
and others―as well as his unrelenting enemy John Adams, British General
Clinton, and master spy John Andre. Thrilling and thought-provoking, The
Tragedy of Benedict Arnold sheds new light on a man―as well on the nuanced
and complicated time in which he lived.
The full lecture schedule is:

All lectures begin at 7 PM and the Museum Shop opens at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, October 15: David Price – The Road to Assunpink Creek
Thursday, October 24: John Gilbert McCurdy – Quarters
Tuesday, October 29: Hal Taylor – Before Penn
Monday, November 4: Kenneth Gossard – Thalers and Pence
Thursday, November 14: Peter Stark – Young Washington
Thursday, November 21: Joyce Malcolm – The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold


November 21, 2019
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


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