Scoundrels Who Made America Great

A Narrative Non-Fiction by Martin Henley

scoundrels who made america great - martin henleyWe like our heroes to wear white hats and our villains to wear black. Challenging this perspective in his newest book, “Scoundrels Who Made America Great”, Martin Henley takes a fresh view of heroism by using a dramatic event in the lives of six known people in American history to illustrate how disreputable labels can obscure heroic deeds. Using a narrative non-fiction style with rich detail missing from ordinary history books, Henley transports the reader back to the time and place these events occurred.

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Read excerpts from the book:

  • Click here to download the introduction
  • Click here to download excerpt of Benedict Arnold’s character story (Ch. 2)
  • Click here to read Martin Henley’s biography

The following characters are highlighted in the events and situations that shifted them from a miscreant to hero – a label that was subsequently dropped from a historical perspective:

  • Wernher Von Braun designed the V-2 rockets that terrorized London during WWII. Today he is heralded as the “father” of the American space program.
  • Convicted of heresy in Massachusetts Bay Colony, a devout Puritan, Anne Hutchinson, set the mold for modern feminism.
  • Benedict Arnold, America’s most notorious traitor, saved the American Revolution at the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain.
  • Following his raid at Harper’s Ferry the messianic murderer John Brown became an abolitionist icon and an inspiration to Civil War Union troops.
  • In 2006, the World War II Veterans Commission awarded the convicted traitor Iva Toguri aka “Tokyo Rose” the Edward J. Herlihy medal for patriotism.
  • Clarence Gideon, a drifter, and four-time felon challenged the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 6th amendment from his prison cell and won.

What others are saying about Scoundrels Who Made America Great

“Some of them are household names. Others have been forgotten till now. Some are villains who turned out to be heroes. Others are heroes who proved to be all too human. They are The Scoundrels. And Martin Henley has brought them to life in a vividly-written volume that overflows with surprising stories, little-known facts, and the pure drama of history. Enjoy.”
William Martin
New York Times Bestselling author, The Lost Constitution and The Lincoln Letter (Website)

“By showing that the meanings assigned to the actions of prominent historical figures by contemporaries as well as future generations can fluctuate dramatically, Martin Henley’s book inspires readers to reflect on the very nature of history. It helps them to understand that both scoundrels and heroes are made by their deeds as much as by the collective memory that shifts with time and place.”
Michal Rozbicki
Professor of History, St. Louis University (Website)

“With the rigorous research of a scholar and the superb story-telling skills of a novelist, Martin Henley has penned a wonderful book about five historical “scoundrels” who, upon further reading, were not the dreadful miscreants all of us have been led to believe. “Scoundrels who Made America Great” is a highly readable and truly enlightening slice of hidden history.”
Ronald E. Yates
Dean Emeritus, College of Media Studies, University of Illinois.
Bestselling author of Finding Billy Battles (Website)

“In a series of narratives that are often as exciting as any historical novel, Martin Henley takes an oblique approach to history that illuminates the endless complexity not only of past events and personalities but of life itself. Scoundrels Who Made America Great is a wonderfully fresh and informative look at some of America’s most misunderstood characters”
Kitty Burns Florey
Bestselling author of Searching for Inez (Website)