Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts


Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts was a Scribd read, although I found my bound copy after I finished the digital copy.  As Americans we take great pride in the Founding Fathers, famous and remembered and those lost to time, but often forget about the women who allowed those brave men to go off and birth a nation.  Cokie Roberts provides a glimpse of a the life of some of those brave women left behind.

Abigail Adams is the most remembered Founding Mother today, although it can be argued that none of these brave women and their sacrifices are remembered in this country.  Who remembers Eliza Pinckney and her amazing accomplishments today?  Who can easily recount the heartbreak of Deborah Franklin has Ben spent extended time in Europe, or dying alone Ben unwilling to come home prior to her death.  The writings of Mercy Otis Warren are not taught or explored in American schools or colleges and yet, her contribution to the Revolutionary War were irreplaceable.

Cokie Roberts brings the struggles and accomplishments of these women to life in context of events in the extraordinary times in which they were living.   The amazing struggle to keep a plantation afloat, to keep everyone fed, clothed, and the agricultural products flowing in support of the war effort.  Keeping the family farm going alone while raising and having children, one of whom would grow up and become a President.  The lonely years loving a man who kept his distance, emotionally and physically, while hearing of his fame and exploits spoken on the streets by patriot and loyalist alike.

Constitutional history, politics, and struggle was a passion in college and yet the only women ever mentioned was Abigail Adams.  She was maybe one classroom hour, maybe, over five years and then only in conjunction with her correspondence with John.  Women in general are forgotten about as footnote rather than the main players on the world stage.  Rather than turn me into an ardent feminist that spews blind hate at the opposite sex, it showed the power behind the public face of power.  Peak behind the curtain and it is amazing what is uncovered, lives explored reveal the truth and provide a much richer tapestry.

Five stars out of five for writing a brief but illuminating history of each woman that all but begs the reader to explore the life of women further.  Non-fiction books that leave me wanting to learn more, to explore their subject matter deeper will always score at the top of the scale. 


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