Title: Benedict Arnold: Legacy Lost (A Ghost's Story)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Will Martin
Target Audience: Readers of early American History and the Revolutionary War Era
Number of Words: 108,500

 

     

Benedict Arnold: Legacy Lost (A Ghost’s Story) blends a collage of historical facts, characters and plot line into an adventure that offers an answer to the question readers of American history have asked for well over two centuries: “Why did Benedict Arnold betray his country?”

Influenced by the rancorous mood of the post-Revolutionary War era, early writers of American history painted Benedict Arnold’s character with a dark brush, resulting in an abbreviated and superficial accounting of this man and his actions. With pens of brimstone, Benedict Arnold’s character was branded self-serving, diabolical, and evil. By contrast, contemporary writers are now turning their attention to lesser known, even heroic, aspects of his life. Confronted with these newfound insights into his battlefield actions and, consequently, his character, the emerging picture of Benedict Arnold presents readers of American history with a disconcerting paradox regarding this man, heretofore known as simply, Traitor! With emotions tempered by the passage of time and, perhaps a more objective view, readers are again asking: “Why did Benedict Arnold do it?” The question, once thought to be rhetorical, is again attracting more time and interest among readers of American history.

With this renewed interest in the subject of Benedict Arnold in mind, Benedict Arnold: Legacy Lost (A Ghost’s Story), presents a fact pattern and plot line that lends support to the contention that there was more to Benedict Arnold’s story than what has thus far been reported. Readers are told of Arnold’s struggles to return to the United States after the war to “right the record” and claim his rightful place as an American patriot among the victors of war. Time and time again, his efforts to return to his country of birth are thwarted and his life is threatened by individuals concerned about the political consequences of his return upon the delicate, postwar struggles for power among those (Founding Fathers) attempting to establish a functioning government in the United States. As a tragic character, Arnold’s attempts to return to the United States are prevented; he is ultimately resigned to the fact that the whole truth concerning his actions at West Point and thereafter will never be told during his lifetime. Although accepting of this fate in life, Arnold nevertheless remains concerned about how his children and future generations will remember him in death. Consequently, Arnold takes steps to assure that his story becomes known upon his death; only to fail once again – until now. The book begs the question: Why is it that one man’s legacy must die so that another’s might live?

Some will read Benedict Arnold – Legacy Lost and believe it to be simply an accounting of the actions taken by Benedict Arnold, George Washington and others during and after the Revolution to assure an American victory and the formation of a functional government in the United States. Others will read Benedict Arnold – Legacy Lost and understand that it also provides insights into the journey of a soul. Although some readers may find the novel’s portrayal of Arnold’s innocence troublesome, many will find its plotline intriguing. In the end, all readers will be lead to ask: What if?

Readers of American history either appreciate Benedict Arnold for his contributions during the time of the Revolution, or hate him. There is very little middle ground when it comes to one’s feelings about of this man of history. This book’s fictional plotline weaves fact and fiction into the fabric of a novel that lends credence and believability into an account of Arnold’s quest to have his name cleansed in the eyes of history. Readers will be challenged to question long-held truths and their intellect will undoubtedly be implanted with seeds of curiosity.

 
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