“Homegrown Terror is more than the dramatic story of Benedict Arnold’s betrayal of America. It is a richly textured and lively portrait of revolutionary era Connecticut. Readers interested in the American Revolution and historical New England will enjoy this book.”—Joel Richard Paul, author of Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution
“Eric Lehman’s Homegrown Terror is the biography of evil personified by America’s greatest antihero. It is a tour de force of research, showing that evil can draw a society—or nation—together as effectively as can good.”—Christopher Collier, author of Decision in Philadelphia: The Constitutional Convention of 1787
“Benedict Arnold was a traitor—and a terrorist, as Eric Lehman vividly shows in his chilling account of Arnold’s savage raid on New London. At the same time, Lehman presents a new look at the psyche of a Revolutionary War general who was both a hero and a villain.”—Thomas B. Allen, author of Tories and George Washington, Spymaster
"Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London is a fresh take on a familiar story and may be the first book on Arnold to give his attack on New London and Groton, little known outside these parts, its due.”—John Ruddy, New London Day
"Lehman brilliantly retells the rise and fall of the keen military leader who proved untrustworthy in the patriot cause using “letters, memoirs, and diaries to get to the root of problems” and “to understand the words and reactions of key players." Easy to read, fast-paced, and filled with historical detail and well-documented sources, this look at Arnold will interest historians of the American Revolution as well as those with an interest in Connecticut history."—M.A.D. Staff, Maine Antique Digest
Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London
On September 6, 1781, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and a force of 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists took Fort Griswold and burnt New London to the ground. The brutality of the invasion galvanized the new nation, and “Remember New London!” would become a rallying cry for troops under General Lafayette. In Homegrown Terror, Eric D. Lehman chronicles the events leading up to the attack and highlights this key transformation in Arnold—the point where he went from betraying his comrades to massacring his neighbors and destroying their homes. This defining incident forever marked him as a symbol of evil, turning an antiheroic story about weakness of character and missed opportunity into one about the nature of treachery itself. Homegrown Terror draws upon a variety of perspectives, from the traitor himself to his former comrades like Jonathan Trumbull and Silas Deane, to the murdered Colonel Ledyard. Rethinking Benedict Arnold through the lens of this terrible episode, Lehman sheds light on the ethics of the dawning nation, and the way colonial America responded to betrayal and terror.
Finalist in the Next Generation Independent Book Awards in both Regional Nonfiction and Historical Nonfiction!