Book review: Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution — by Christopher S. Wren

(Simon & Schuster)
“They called themselves Green Mountain Boys and George Washington did not trust them.” So opens this captivating and thoroughly enjoyable romp through what likely seems, to Vermonters, familiar terrain, but indeed, Christopher Wren’s fresh take and revealing version of this story is richer and more dramatic that history books would have you believe. It begins in the years before the Revolutionary War, with skirmishes over land grants and Ethan Allen’s role in that fight, and proceeds, with bold advances and bedraggled retreats, through the victory at Bennington, the disbandment of the Green Mountain Boys, and to Vermont’s eventual entry into the Union. Indeed, Christopher Wren has penned a surprising story of the Allen brothers, Seth Warner, Remember Baker and the rebellious Green Mountain Boys. With much of it set in and around Lake Champlain — Mount Independence, Fort Ticonderoga, Hubbardton — local history buffs, as well as those less knowledgeable about the mechanics and strategies of the war, will really enjoy this book. Wren explores the myths as well as the realities faced by this particularly hardy band of soldiers and their crucial contribution to the Revolutionary War. A worthy addition to the canon of works written about this fractious period in this country’s history.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop
Read the Revolutionary War!
Lexington and Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World by George C. Daughan
First Ladies of the Republic by Jeanne E. Abrams
Apostles of Revolution by John Ferling
The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold by Joyce Lee Malcolm
1776 by David McCullough
The Fearless Benjamin Lay by Marcus Rediker
Unshackling America by Willard Sterne Randall

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