|Primary Format: Paper|
|Size:||6 x 9 in.|
|Subject(s):||New England History Biography and Letters|
Inventing Ethan Allen
John J. Duffy and H. Nicholas MullerE-book: $27.99
Now come two venerable historians with yet another portrait - not just of the man in all his complexity, but of his evolving, grandiose reputation and how it served the purposes of the writers, their society, and the state that became invested in a conflation of history and legend.Inventing Ethan Allen, by John J. Duffy and Nicholas Muller III, published by the University of New England, takes a hard look at what is known about Ethan Allen, from the documentary record, and what was written speculatively about him. Ultimately, they argue, it was a 19th-century "confection" that elevated him to heroic, bigger-than-life status and that helped make him the namesake of everything from a furniture company to a think tank.
—Burlington Free Press
With solid research Duffy and Muller convince readers that many facts were lost in the fictional depiction of Allen. . . .This study contributes immensely to our understanding of the cult of the Vermont hero and heroes in general.
—Journal of American History
What? Ethan Allen wasn’t everything we’ve come to believe? Duffy and Muller make the eye-opening case that the Hero of Ticonderoga, the defender of the New Hampshire Grants, and the patriot whose name and image adorn ships, statues, highways, and stores is as much legend as fact. Great Jehovah!
—James H. Douglas, former governor of Vermont
This is a good book overall, and should appeal to anyone interested in America’s struggle for independence or Vermont history.
Inventing Ethan Allen describes in detail the shifting historical images of Vermont’s most famous revolutionary hero. The story Duffy and Muller tell is both complex and entertaining, involving Allen’s own self-promotion, several biographers, the founders of the Vermont Historical Society, state politicians, professional as well as amateur historians, sculptors, and entrepreneurs fond of exploiting Ethan’s fame. The book also gives straightforward summaries of what we know and don’t know about Allen’s life. A must-read for anyone interested in how Vermonters relate to their past.
—Jere Daniell, professor of history emeritus, Dartmouth College
JOHN J. DUFFY is emeritus professor of English and Humanities, Vermont State Colleges. H. NICHOLAS MULLER III has served as president of Colby-Sawyer College and dean and professor of history at the University of Vermont. Both have published widely on Vermont topics, including a co-authored monograph, An Anxious Democracy:Aspects of the 1830s.