BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Nathaniel Philbrick, best-selling author and winner of the National Book Award, made the Revolutionary War come alive for 200 members of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Illinois and their guests at the Newberry Library.
The author of Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution spoke as part of a prestigious series co-sponsored by the Warriors, the Newberry, and the University of Illinois. Members of their sister organization, The Colonial Dames, were in attendance.
Despite the dreary day outside, listeners were spellbound by Philbrick’s narrative: Arnold as a risk taker and great general before “his betrayal blew the country apart,” also describing George Washington as a “fiery redhead, aggressive by temperament.”
A resident of Nantucket and a passionate sailor, Philbrick has also written about Custer’s last stand, the Mayflower, Bunker Hill, and answered the intriguing question, Why Read Moby Dick? Ron Howard made a movie based on his bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea.
David Trebing, the Society’s Governor General who came in from Washington, DC, joined SCW-IL Deputy Governor, Philip May, and Robert Morrissey from the University of Illinois in welcoming Philbrick. Trebing revealed that there are 4400 Warriors nationwide and that the organization “celebrates the period 1607-1775, which set the foundation for national diversity.”