Winner of the 2017 Harry M. Ward Book Prize:
Nathaniel Philbrick, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (New York: Viking, 2016).
Nathaniel Philbrick is one of America’s most versatile historians, an author at home in subjects ranging from the voyage of the Mayflower, seafaring adventures, the Battle of Little Big Horn, and Bunker Hill. In this year’s prize-winning volume he has continued his interest in the American Revolution. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution is the story of the dramatic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold—two men who held the fate of the Revolution in their hands. Washington, of course, developed into the leader who saved a cause that often hung on the edge of defeat, while the shocking treason of Arnold, a brilliant battlefield leader and the commander-in-chief’s once-trusted friend, almost assured that defeat. Philbrick has brilliantly explained the different paths these two men chose and, as his title suggests, how those paths shaped “the fate of the American Revolution.” As he has in the past, Philbrick has taken a fascinating and important subject, researched it deeply, and made it accessible to a wide audience in a superbly-written narrative.
Robert F. Smith, Manufacturing Independence: Industrial Innovation and the American Revolution (Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2016).
Caroline Cox, Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
Stephen Howard Browne, The Ides of War: George Washington and the Newburgh Crisis (Columbia, SC: University of South Caroline Press, 2016).
Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It (New York: Knopf, 2016).
Derek W. Beck, Igniting the American Revolution: The War before Independence, 1775-1776 (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2016).