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An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary…

An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James…

by Andro Linklater

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Perhaps Benedict Arnold was not the most nefarious of traitors in American history after all. Though he is still the most infamous.

It is fascinating to think that a man could become the highest ranking Army/military officer in the nation and be a spy for another country at the same time. And get away with it for many years.

Well written and researched book about a man I knew little about. He talks about not just the facts but also discusses what could have motivated Gen Wilkinson to treason and his choices. Very interesting view into the early American political life as we see sides of many famous people that I've read little of.

He served under four presidents and had a relationship with each one. Oddly enough Jefferson was his biggest supporter and Madison his greatest enemy of the four. Not only is a different side of famous people seen here but also the fragility of the nation in our first years is clear. Now we look back at our past with the certainty of knowing things turned out the way they did but the people living then did not live with confidence that America would be a successful nation. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received the book as part of LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway. A thorough, even exhaustive, biography of a treasonous "patriot", who believed "that the image of respectability excused the reality of betrayal." I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the significant events of the revolution and newly formed United States in which Wilkinson participated. Unfortunately, the details overwhelmed me about the time Wilkinson moved to Kentucky and, knowing his duplicity, I wasn't as interested in the remaining intricacies of his life.
  jonasreads | Sep 22, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very entertaining look at a fascinating and missing chapter of American history. The other reviewers are right about the tediousness of it -- after a strong opening chapter, the writing failed to compel me to keep reading. A book best browsed through. Three stars for a great subject. ( )
  gwalklin | Nov 9, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There has to be an interesting story in there but too wordy for me. ( )
  cwflatt | Sep 12, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting, but to me much too long, story of how James Wilkinson rose to become the commanding general of the United States army while simultaneously being an agent of Spain and involved in various conspiracies with Aaron Burr and others. ( )
  surly | May 28, 2010 |
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A profile of the Continental Army general explores his career with the Spanish secret service, his protection by four presidents in spite of his treasonous acts, and his role in foiling Aaron Burr's conspiracy to break up the Union.

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