Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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***Founding Mothers

The Women Who Raised Our Nation

by Cokie Roberts

Reviewed July 21, 2004.
William Morrow (HarperCollins), New York, 2004.  359 pages.

Cokie Roberts tells a good story.  Here’s the story of the American Revolution and the founding of our nation, but this time it’s told with the focus on the women involved.  They influenced the politics of the men in their lives, while running their businesses and farms, rearing their children, even rescuing their possessions from the British invaders.

Cokie Roberts tells us about the lives of such women as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, and many other women who influenced the founding of the United States.  Each chapter covers a different time period, beginning with the prelude to Revolution and ending as Washington peacefully passed the Presidency on to John Adams.  She follows the lives of several heroic women, telling their perspective on the great events.

This is a new and delightful way of looking at this history.  To me, it gave the story a more human touch.  I didn’t know that Martha followed Washington to camp after camp, and built the morale of the soldiers.   I didn’t know that John Adams scoffed when his wife wrote him the famous line to “Remember the ladies.”  I didn’t know that Eli Whitney perfected the cotton gin with the help and financing of the wife of a Revolutionary War hero.

This book contains fascinating glimpses of the difficult lives of the women who went before us.  They may not have been given political equality, but they contributed tremendously to the founding of our nation.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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