Frankly, it seems to this reader at least that a second book paralleling so closely the Van de Water Reluctant Republic is bringing coals to Newcastle. In comparison this text seems heavy going. On some points Mr. Thompson and Mr. Van de Water disagree as to interpretation and sources, but in the main, Independent Vermont covers virtually the same period, the same personalities (with less vitality) and the same awareness of the essential Vermont characteristics. The book has all the earmarks of thorough d intimate acquaintance with every aspect of the subject. The lack seems to be that light touch, that sense of story, which made The Reluctant Republic a discovery for those of us not ""bred and born"" in Vermont.