Wednesday, August 17, 2011
History Notes -- A New Biography of Ethan Allen
Francois Furstenberg has a nice review in Slate of Willard Sterne Randall's new biography, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times. Allen is a problematic hero because many of his patriotic exploits were clearly motivated at least in part by calculations of personal gain. Furstenberg takes the opportunity to point out that much the same could be said of other prominent figures in the revolutionary conflict and raises once again the old "progressive" view of the revolution as a clash of class and economic interests. This is a familiar argument to professional historians, but general readers, for whom this book is intended, might find it interesting. Check it out, check it outers.