WHERE FICTION MEETS HISTORY
Gideon’s Revolution and the Treason of Benedict Arnold
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Time: 3 pm
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
A conversation between author Brian Carso and ethicist Joseph Curran
Carso and Curran talk about Carso’s novel, Gideon’s Revolution and more generally about the use of fiction to illuminate history. In 2006 college professor Brian Carso published an academic book about the meaning of treason in the early American republic. While researching a chapter on Benedict Arnold, he came across a little-known episode wherein George Washington ordered a spy mission to capture Arnold in NYC, where Arnold had joined the British Army after his betrayal at West Point. There aren’t many known facts—it was a secret spy mission, after all—but Carso has written a fascinating historical novel based on the incident.
In 2006 Brian Carso published an academic book about the meaning of treason in the early republic. While researching a chapter on Benedict Arnold, he came across a little known episode wherein George Washington ordered a spy mission to capture Arnold in NYC, where he took up with the British Army after his betrayal at West point. There aren’t a lot of known facts—it was a secret spy mission, after all—but he turned it into a very cool historical novel. He retraced Arnold’s footsteps all over the northeast—from his birthplace in Connecticut to Ticonderoga, Quebec, Saratoga, West Point, New York City, and elsewhere—trying to get inside Arnold’s head and thinking about loyalty, betrayal, and political obligation, both then and now. For more info about Benedict Arnold and Gideon’s Revolution, visit www.briancarso.com.
The upcoming 250th anniversary of the nation’s independence gives the novel some resonance, not to mention the likelihood that matters of allegiance and sedition will rattle our political discourse in the year ahead.
Publication date is September 15, 2023.
Brian Carso has worked in law, government, and academia. As both a lawyer and historian, he has written broadly about the American experience, including a scholarly book on the history of treason and a historical novel about Revolutionary War espionage. He serves on the faculty of Misericordia University in Dallas, PA, and lives in Matamoras, PA.
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Joseph Curran, PhD, professor of religious studies, Misericordia University
Joseph Curran directs the Medical and Health Humanities Program at Misericordia University. Dr. Curran earned a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College, writing his dissertation on social and economic justice. His approach to ethics focusses on virtue ethics, with particular emphasis on the virtues of justice and mercy. He is an avid reader of history and historical fiction.