Curmudgeonalia
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July 5, 2006

Traitors

(The worst acts of treason in American history)
Richard Sale – ISBN 0425191850

This is an interesting book, and a breezy read filled with information about the more important moral cretins of American history: Benedict Arnold, John Wilkes Booth, John Walker, Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, Elizabeth Bentley, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and many others. Some are uniformly recognized while others a little more obscure, but all amongst the most important “leakers” in American history.

It is sufficiently comprehensive to display the treasonous acts, and to explain how they impacted our security. Well researched (Sale is a journalist covering counterintelligence and terrorism for UPI), and very well written, it is a book worth the time. He doesn’t deal in arcane factoids, but discusses things in straightforward terms filling in many historic blanks for the average reader not steeped in this information, and making the guilty easy to loathe.

Whatever their reasons, these turncoats actions all put the lives of every American at risk and deserve to have shame and dishonor heaped upon them. Ignominious to a fault, though his take on Benedict Arnold is interesting and obliquely laudatory: “Whatever his faults Arnold was a superb, dauntless battlefield warrior. . . . the dross in his character fell away. . . . His uncertain character, in peacetime . . . was replaced by untiring energy . . . by balance and sense . . . [and] incredible tenacity and a power of resolution that simply refuse[d] to perish until it succeed[ed]. . . . The spies who follow him are no more his size than the fleas on a bear.”

Worth a couple of hours!

Posted by respeto at July 5, 2006 9:20 AM