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Homegrown Terror
Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London 
Eric D. Lehman

The Driftless Connecticut Series
Garnet Books
2015 • 300 pp. 30 illus. 6 x 9"
American History / American History - 19th Century

$18.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7749-8
$30.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7329-2

$15.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7330-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

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

A new look at the quintessential traitor

On September 6, 1781, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and a force of 1,700 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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“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

“Author Eric D. Lehman brings to life Connecticut during the Revolutionary War in Homegrown Terror. Lehman’s book is a welcome addition to an understanding of Connecticut’s role in the American Revolution and provides a fresh approach to this topic. Previous biographies of Benedict Arnold only touch on the attack on New London; Lehman’s book completely focuses on it… Indeed, the detailed account of the attack of New London is but a small part of the book, the culmination of a fascinating account of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War.”Rebecca Taber-Conover, Connecticut History Review

“Lehman’s literary skills are undeniable and he deftly illustrates Arnold’s world in Connecticut for his readers.”—Gary Sellick, On Point: The Journal of Army History

It tells how Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists captured Fort Griswold and burned down the settlement of New London in 1781, describes life in those times and explores how and why Arnold betrayed his countrymen and killed his neighbors.”—Carole Goldberg, The Hartford Courant

“[T]he book reads well, offering many details about Arnold’s background, his relationships with childhood friends and rebel commanders, and his developing relations with the British.”—S.A. Klein, Choice

“Lehman has read widely on his subject and tells Arnold’s story with the intent of captivating the modern reader … Its style, evidence of Lehman’s skill for creative writing, and its short chapters make for a breezy read.”—Christopher F. Minty, The New England Quarterly

“A new book on Arnold's dark career argues that terror more than treason should be his legacy. 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. …While calling Arnold a terrorist is an attention-getter, Lehman makes his case with nuance, arguing that the terms we use to define good and evil change over time.”—John Ruddy, The Day

“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.”Maine Antique Digest


Nominated for the Annual American Revolution Round Table-Richmond Book Award (2015)

ERIC D. LEHMAN is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. His fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of online and print journals and magazines. He is the author of several books, including The Insider’s Guide to Connecticut and Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.

Click here for author's website.

A Driftless Connecticut Series Book
This book is a 2014 selection in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
for an outstanding book in any field on a Connecticut topic
or written by a Connecticut author.
The Driftless Connecticut Series is funded by the
Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund
at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
For more information and a complete list of books in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
please visit us online at

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:25:18 -0500