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Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

by Cokie Roberts

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,015458,160 (3.52)54
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.… (more)
  1. 00
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Back in the day, a brief mention of the Founding Fathers in a high school history class was common. We learned about the accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and more, but what about the women of the American Revolution? Often the women, be it wives, mothers, or sisters, would only be mentioned in passing, if at all.

Well, journalist Cokie Roberts wondered about them as well and dove into telling their stories. Using letters and research, Roberts gives us a behind-the-scenes look at life during Colonial times. While not in the spotlight, women like Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Mercy Otis Warren were a force to be reckoned with.

The Bottom Line: With many characters and long chapters, I had to read this book in small portions. I found the lives of these women to be fascinating, and I enjoyed learning about life during the American Revolution. These women made many contributions to American History; however, their efforts are seldom acknowledged. Recommended for American History classes for high school and college and for those interested in reading about the American Revolution.

For the complete review including Book Club Notes & Discussion questions, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | May 8, 2024 |
Given to Matthew Hayes - 05/11/2023
  revbill1961 | May 11, 2023 |
The women connected to the American Founding Fathers don't often receive much attention. While I had encountered women like Martha Washington and Abgail Adams in histories of the revolution, I knew next to nothing about women like Catharine Littlefield Greene (wife of Nathanael Greene) or Sarah Livingston Jay (wife of John Jay) or even Anne Randolph Morris (wife of Gouverneur Morris). Each of them deserves a full-length biography of her own, but I appreciate the themes emphasized by telling their stories together. This book has broadened my knowledge and understanding of the American Revolution and I hope to find more books about these remarkable women. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Feb 11, 2023 |
Not in the mood for it, I guess. The writing seems magazine-ey and it seems a little too detail oriented. I only got 36 pages in so maybe I would have liked it more after a bit.
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
3/31/22
  laplantelibrary | Mar 31, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
''Founding Mothers'' is essentially a series of entertaining mini-biographies and engaging vignettes.
 
In addition to telling wonderful stories, Roberts also presents a very readable, serviceable account of politics—male and female—in early America. If only our standard history textbooks were written with such flair!
 
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To my own Founding Mothers: The women in my family, particularly my mother, who told the stories that we call history. And, especially, to the religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart, the RSCJ's, who took girls seriously—a radical notion in the 1950s.
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Chapter One
Before 1775:
The Road to Revolution

Deborah Read Franklin

Stirrings of Discontent

When you hear of a family with two brothers who fought heroically in the Revolutionary War, served their state in high office, and emerged as key figures in the new American nation, don't you immediately think, "They must have had a remarkable mother"?
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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.

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Companion volume to Ladies of Liberty.
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