Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

by Cokie Roberts

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Cokie Roberts's number one New York Times bestseller, We Are Our Mothers' Daughters, examined the nature of women's roles throughout history and led USA Today to praise her as a "custodian of time-honored values." Her second bestseller, From This Day Forward, written with her husband, Steve Roberts, described American marriages throughout history, including the romance of John and Abigail Adams. Now Roberts returns with Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did. The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive.

Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived.

Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the drive, determination, creative insight, and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Roberts proves beyond a doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity, and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances and carry on.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061867460
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 43,274
File size: 787 KB

About the Author

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards and in 2008 was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and, with her husband, the journalist Steven V. Roberts, From This Day Forward and Our Haggadah.

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Founding Mothers 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
ISU_paa More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a class assignment, and used the book to analyze leadership. Personally, I think that anyone who has an interest in U.S. History should read this book, if nothing else for the interesting historical facts. I really loved hearing about how John Edwards was related to Aaron Burr, the story surrounding Benedict Arnold's wife, and the correspondence between Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. I already had a pretty extensive knowledge of American History going into this book, and I still learned a lot from it. No one else talks about the stories surrounding the women behind the men we all have heard so much about, so it was nice to hear an alternative perspective. Unfortunately, the book was a slow read, and got monotonous at times. Cokie Roberts had a great idea to write the book, but as a previous post says, it was poorly executed. Her organization was poor to say the least. Also, she tended to go off on tangents which seemed to detract heavily from the important points of the book. If you're looking for an enjoyable, easy-read type of book, this one isn't for you. However, if you want to hear a new perspective on an old story, I would highly recommend giving this book a try. Like I said, as someone with a strong interest in history, I enjoyed the book, even though it was a bit of a task to actually read it.
LarisaB More than 1 year ago
I agree with some other reviewers: this book takes a topic that's not well understood and makes a unique approach, but is poorly written and organized. I understand the desire to be engaging, but I think the material would have done that for itself, without side notes trying to draw modern comparisons or make jokes. Basing her research in women's letters, Roberts brings a whole world to life. However, she allows the relationships between women and the timeline to guide her writing, where in my opinion, a more scholarly approach -- perhaps by organizing it topically and drawing a few more conclusions -- would have been much stronger. In the end, I have a vivid picture of what women's lives were like, and what role they played in the early days of our country, but I'm not sure what to make of it, because it was all so scrambled. Still, when such things come up in conversation (which is sadly rare), it has a lot to offer in terms of interesting factoids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good book, but as one would expect, it is a bit politically correct for a book written about early America. Such are the times in which we live.
MainerMary More than 1 year ago
If you like history especially the early history of America, you'll like this book. I had previously listened to the "John Adams" audio disc. Hearing this history of the women who were a major part of the same era provided an interesting counterpart to that book. I find such audio books make history live in a way reading the book doesn't always do.
Karen127 More than 1 year ago
I am a devoit reader of books on the early years of this country and have especially loved Founding Brothers (Ellis), John Adams (McCullough)and Benjamin Franklin (Isaacson) as well as Ferlings Adams versus Jefferson. As a professional woman I looked forwaard to this book especially seeking a more detailed discussion of Abigail Adams, a most fascinating woman. I could not have been more disappointed. Ms. Robert's writing was simplistic, patronizing and written for the aforementioned 12 year old girl. Factually, it was not accurate (note to Cokie-there was no vice presidential candidate in either 1796 or 1800). Don't waste your time with this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading biographies on John Adams, Alexander Hamiltion, and George Washingion, I was really excited about reading about our founding mothers. This is one area that needs more research done on it. I bought the tapes, and started listening to the book, and became very disappointed. Ms. Roberts is not a historian, she is a reporter, and this shows in her book. Throughout the book she shares her opinions, and tries to be funny. Sometimes she makes statements that seem to be exaggerated. It seems that Ms. Roberts is just writing for women, by her comments. She should have had more confidence that this important topic, would be read by both females and males. Its obvious Ms. Roberts did her research, and many interesting stories are told in this book. I could not get past her bias and opinions in this book. It would be great if a real historian, like Doris Kearns Goodwin, tackled this subject matter.
priscella More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately I can only give this book of great effort three stars.  The reason is that when I got about two thirds of the book read I  bogged in politics and the Revalutionary war.  After a couple of days of that I decided to move on to something else I wanted to read. However, must say the stories and information on those women of that time was most enjoyable and inspiring.  I've asked myself could  woman today meet the same challenges?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It made me think and laugh at the same time. Impressively researched, beautifully written; this does a lot of justice to the gene. Thank you Cokie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully readable, yet satisfiyingly researched, history of the women who stood behind the men who made American history. Fascinating story and not 'feminist' at all; a great story for women, men and older children, and another example of how even the best-known historical events have many unexplored sides. (Haven't you ever wondered about Mrs. Einstein?) For a fascinating exploration of the opposite story--a man's view of fatherhood, marriage and staying home with the kids, I loved 'I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets,' by Bruce Stockler.
Fernandame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Audiobook - This was an interesting book with facts about the women behind our Founding Fathers.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
General Cornwallis of the British Army once lamented that even if he destroyed all the men in America, he'd still have the women to contend with. This book by Cokie Roberts profiles some of those amazing women of the Revolutionary era. Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Deborah Franklin, Mercy Otis Warren, Katy Green, and Eliza Pinckney are just a few of the women in this book.Pros: The women! I enjoyed learning about their lives and struggles.Lots of stuff I never heard before. History class tends to focus on the generals, the presidents, etc. But their wives and mothers were no less interesting, and in some cases, were even more influential.Cons: The format. Roberts uses a chronological format, which helps tie each woman into her place in history, and gives you a feel for how they are related to one another, but it got confusing and yes, boring at times. I mean, I know who won the war. It's the women I wanted to read about.Not enough pictures. In fact, the only pictures are one on the first page of each chapter. That's it. I wanted more.The writing itself. In some places, she let her own opinions come out, but not often enough. It was a little impersonal.Recommended for history buffs, especially female ones.
zellertr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very interesting. Who knew that the ladies of the Revolution raised monies for the soldiers and wanted to buy them nice things? General Washington still got his way on how the money was spent, but it was nice to know we have always been a generous country!
smclawler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to reading this book, but I felt the arrangement of the information was disjointed and poorly organized.
MarthaHuntley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is well researched but is boring to read. I didn't feel like I learned very much from it.
mzonderm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting, though not particularly deep, look at the female relations of the men who get written about in the history books. Unfortunately, although Roberts makes much of the historical context when discussing how the women broke out of the mold, she does not give the historical context much thought when it comes to the men, leading her to be a bit harsh on the men sometimes.Perhaps a bit more problematic is that approximately the entire second half of the book is really the same story about the men that we already know, with just brief glimpses of the women. What are we supposed to take away from this? That there's only enough about the "Founding Mothers" to write half a book? Or that, in the end, as interesting as they were, it wasn't the women who made the history after all? Well, we probably already knew that. But this book does give a brief glimpse into the trials and tribulations of the women behind the men.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about some of the founding mothers. There are many history books out there that focus on our founding fathers but nothing on the women. Women's history is fairly new (began in the 1970s) and this is a great addition. I have read some of this but plan to finish it in the future and thus far, I love it.
crmp6855 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm torn between this is terribly boring and it's also interesting. I'm falling asleep every time I pick it up. This is difficult to follow, it seems the information jumps around too much.
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book provides an interesting look at the mothers of the founding fathers. Although poorly organized, the book provides insights into the lives of well-known as well as lesser-known women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and informative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful nonfiction story about the women who helped shape our country.
Jan61JB More than 1 year ago
Cokie Roberts writing is impeccable. Interesting, exciting to think of our founding mothers. This is an excellent history of the founding of America and the part women played in it. The men were off here and there but women held down the country. Excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tremendous! I wish I'd had it back when I was in school, history would have been so much easier for me! She did an amazing job of researching and pulling together everything into a true story of the time; I particularly loved the personal comments along the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago