The founding of America was a process beset by many challenges, including countries and agents that actively worked to either see us fail, or at least severely limit our growth. While Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr are two of the most commonly recognized antagonists, the story of General James Wilkinson is one of the most fascinating. He was a brilliant strategist both in battle and in politics, but character weaknesses, such as his ego and his failure managing his finances helped to lead him into spying against the country he was sworn to defend. Over the course of his spying career he betrayed military secrets, had Spain send their military against the Lewis and Clark expedition and sought to keep the country from expanding beyond the Mississippi. The force of his personality and intellect were such that he served as the Commander and Chief of the military under 4 presidents even though rumors of his spying for Spain were wide spread. Linklater relates this history in a compelling and accessible manner.