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Nathaniel Philbrick presents Valiant Ambition
St. Joseph's College, Tuohy Hall
Brooklyn, NY
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Nathaniel Philbrick presents Valiant Ambition
Thursday, May 19, 7:30 PM
Nathaniel Philbrick presents Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
In conversation with Bob Dotson

Nathaniel Philbrick, the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea (now in theaters) and Mayflower, returns this May with Valiant Ambition, an exciting and surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. The book is a story of battles lost and won, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold: an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington's unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters. Philbrick discusses his vision of a fledgling nation struggling with internal strife and high ideals, with resonances that echo today, with Emmy Award-winning journalist and author Bob Dotson, creator of the NBC series American Story. Book signing to follow.

General admission is free; $30 includes priority seating and first edition, first printing copy of Valiant Ambition. Ticketholder books distributed upon admission, and additional books for sale on site.


About Nathaniel Philbrick:
Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown Universitys first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting: A Parody.  

In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the islands history, Away Off Shore, followed by a study of the Nantuckets native legacy, Abrams Eyes. He was the founding director of Nantuckets Egan Maritime Institute and is still a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.

In 2000, Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the forthcoming Warner Bros. motion picture Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland, which is scheduled for release in March, 2015. The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film Into the Deep by Ric Burns.

His next book was Sea of Glory, published in 2003, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. The New York Times Bestseller Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten Best Books of 2006 by the New York Times Book Review. Mayflower is currently in development as a limited series on FX.

In 2010, he published the New York Times bestseller The Last Stand, which was named a New York Times Notable book, a 2010 Montana Book Award Honor Book, and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. Philbrick was an on-camera consultant to the two-hour PBS American Experience film Custers Last Stand by Stephen Ives. The book is currently being adapted for a ten-hour, multi-part television series. The audio book for Philbricks Why Read Moby-Dick? (2011) made the ALA's Listen List in 2012 and was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.

Philbricks latest New York Times bestseller, Bunker Hill:  A City, a Siege, a Revolution, was published in 2013 and was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award. Bunker Hill won the 2014 book award from the Society of Colonial Wars, and has been optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.

Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, and the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society. He was named the 2011 Cushing Orator by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and has an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he delivered the commencement address in 2009.

Philbricks writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBSs American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife still live on Nantucket.

About Bob Dotson:
If you have watched NBC over the past four decades, you know that Bob Dotsons reports focus on the individuals who change lives but dont take the time to tell us about it.  Through his signature series, American story with Bob Dotson, he has crisscrossed the country, four million miles, practically non-stopprofiling people we dont know that have thoughtful solutions to problems we all face.  

He is also the author of three books, including American Story:  a Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things (Viking Press) which became a New York Times best Seller and won the Christopher Award for Best Non-Fiction Book in 2014.

Dotson has received more than a 120 honors in broadcast journalism, including eight national Emmys and a record six Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Network News Writing from the Radio Television Digital News Association.  He is an acclaimed producer as well, the winner of  seven International Film and Video Festivals and was awarded documentary's highest honor, the CINE Grand Prize.  His work has earned top honors from DuPont-Columbia, the National Press Photographers Association, the Robert F. Kennedy awards and recently, Bob joined Charles Kuralt and Walter Cronkite as the latest recipient of the William Allen White Foundation National Citation for journalistic excellence.  

Dotson now dedicates his time to teaching the craft of storytelling, speaking on college campuses across the United States, Europe and Asia.



St. Joseph's College, Tuohy Hall (View)
245 Clinton Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States


Arts > Literary

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Greenlight Bookstore
On BPT Since: Feb 27, 2015
Greenlight Bookstore

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