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George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots

Recorded on November 9, 2006

The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Two great patriots. Two giants of the battlefield. Yet one became our greatest hero, and one became our most notorious traitor. It was a surprising turn of events. Washington and Arnold admired each other. After the first three years of the Revolutionary War, every patriot recognized as our two greatest warriors George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, and twice battle-wounded Benedict Arnold, captor of Fort Ticonderoga, invader of Canada, and victor at the battle of Saratoga. But while Washington rose above his enemies to become the "Father of our Country," Arnold became embittered by them and with slow twists of mind, heart, character, and decision finally committed himself to betraying the cause that he had previously served so well. George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots relives a dramatic chapter of American history. It is a story every American should know.

Dave R. Palmer, a graduate of West Point and Duke University, is a retired lieutenant general of the United States Army, two-tour veteran of Vietnam, former superintendent of West Point, and accomplished military historian specializing in the campaigns of George Washington and the 18th Century American army. He often appears as a commentator in television documentaries on the Revolutionary War period and its generals and is the author of many books, including The Summons of the Trumpet: U.S.-Vietnam in Perspective; The Way of the Fox: American Strategy in the War for America, 1775­-1783; and George Washington: First in War.