Review and Summary: The Notorious Benidict Arnold

Title:  The Notorious Benedict Arnold

Author:  Steve Sheinkin

Publisher: Macmillan: Roaring Books Press

          This is surprisingly a completely non-fiction book. The reason it’s surprising is because it’s a really good adventure story. Most history books that are in as much detail as this one are either really boring or are a million gazillion pages long. Would you believe that I’ve seen a history book four times the size of this one? It was about 1,348 pages long. That’s insane! It talks aboutArnold’s life from before birth to his death at age sixty.

The story of Arnold’s life is truly amazing it really made a lasting impression on how I looked at the Revolutionary War and period. Most people think of him as an evil, black hearted, completely insane traitor. Yes, it is true that he turned on his country, but he also helped the rebels win the war. In fact, we couldn’t have won the war without him. He was a General and then a Major General. He won America some of the most important battles of that century. The author, by the way, has an Arnold obsession. I see nothing wrong with that. I am obsessed with numerous inventors and scientists. There are exactly seventy one references, not including the ones Sheinkin used for the quotations. Each and every word in this book is completely true. It’s clear from the very start that hours and hours of infinite occupation went into this book.

My favorite part in this story is when Arnold gets his leg nailed into a fracture box after he gets his left leg shattered by a musket ball. The fracture box is the only option he has other than amputation. The reason it’s funny is because during the battle he got it, he is being slowly driven insane by the sounds of musket fire and cannons, against orders, he runs out of the tent screaming battle cries and firing his pistol like a madman.

The thing that I remember the most is the battle of Lake Champlain. (Yes, Champlain, not champagne.) There he makes an impressive display of what studying a body of water can do. They catch the British by surprise in a narrow passage. They get the head start in the beginning and blow several ships to smithereens, but at the end of the day the enemy has them captured. At midnight they make a narrow escape in their smaller boats and surprise the British commander in the morning.

I think this was an excellent book. It was informative, thrilling and adventurous. This was one of the books sent to me by Janinereads. I would recommend this book to anyone ages twelve and up.


Posted by: Fred Reads



Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Review and Summary: The Notorious Benidict Arnold

  1. Hey Fred, I am really glad that you enjoyed that book. Yes, Sheinkin has a self proclaimed obsession with Benedict Arnold. I met him at the Boston Horn Globe Book Awards ceremony where he accepted the award for best non-fiction of 2011 for this very book. He is a very interesting fellow.

    One thing for you to think about: how much artistic license do you think an author has when it comes to non fiction? What mean is, how many times can dialogue, scenes not in public areas, and other assumptions can an author write about before their non-fictional work becomes historical fiction?

  2. Jui

    I like this book

  3. ishmaaeel muhammad


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