Jennings, author of The Salem Frigate and a number of other historical novels, has given us, this time, a regional book tracing, in vivid chronicle, private enterprise in Boston from the arrival of the first settlers to the departure of the British soldiers in 1776. Here is enough drama for a dozen historical novels, rooted in extensive research, and recounted with good humor and touches of gentle satire. He writes of daring Yankee skippers opening new veins of trade at great risk, of brutal pirates, gentleman smugglers, Boston's role in the slave trade, the evolution of what Londoners termed, the ""codfish aristocracy"", and the mushroom growth of town and port. With trade restraints from the Mother land came stubborn resistance, and time came when smuggling and bribing their way around the Acts was not enough, and the Boston merchants had to shoot their way out. The Cradle of Liberty was lined with merchants' balance sheets. Here's a book that does for that period in Boston some degree of what Margaret Leech did in Reveille in Washington. There's an eye witness quality in his reporting which makes it extraordinarily good reading.