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Founding Mothers

Founding Mothers

Written by Cokie Roberts

Narrated by Cokie Roberts


Founding Mothers

Written by Cokie Roberts

Narrated by Cokie Roberts

ratings:
3.5/5 (47 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 4, 2004
ISBN:
9780060764210
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Cokie Roberts's #1 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. Now Cokie returns with Founding Mothers, an intimate look at the passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families and country proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Eliza Pinckney, Mary Bartlett and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the determination, creative insight and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Cokie Roberts proves beyond 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.

Publisher:
Released:
May 4, 2004
ISBN:
9780060764210
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

FIRST OF HEARTS are the engaging letters of Mrs. Henry Adams describing life and politics in Washington,D.C. in the late 19th century. Cokie Roberts, as close to the life of the nation's capital as Clover Adams, has written the insightful and lively Introduction to the letters.


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Reviews

What people think about Founding Mothers

3.7
47 ratings / 24 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    his is a collection of short (one-two paragraph) biographies of important women from the Revolutionary War. Robert’s include the obvious (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams) but I was pleased that she also included Mercy Otis Warren, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, and other less well-known women. The volume contains lively illustrations by Diane Goode and excellent resources for further learning. I would be careful of considering this historically accurate. Roberts tells the most popular version of the life and stories of these women. These stories often overlook some of the more unpleasant truths about our founding mothers. This book is a good starting point but should not be the sole or absolute source for information on these extraordinary women. Worth owning for any child, but particularly excellent for young girls.
  • (3/5)
    These brief but lively and informative profiles of notable women from early American history are great introductions for young readers. Wonderfully illustrated by Diane Goode and elegantly designed. Web sites are listed for readers wanting to know more but the lack of a bibliography is disappointing, as is the lack of citations for which sources Roberts consulted in her research. A book like this introducing young people to fascinating historical figures should have recommendations for lengthier biographies readers can use to learn more when their interest is piqued. See also Cheryl Harness's Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women.
  • (5/5)
    A must read for anyone interested in Colonial History, the Revolutionary War, and Women's History. The insights given to the involvement of our founding mothers - in many cases using their own words - enhances the body of knowledge about the contributions of women and importance of their work to establish our new nation.
  • (3/5)
    I was reminded of this book when my friend, Kathy, posted her Bliss Initiative on Moxie. There is the story of one girl (15 or 16YO), which really sticks in my head when I think I can't do something. Her father went to the Carribean to be governor or on business and left her in charge of their indigo plantation. The author knows the story because of the detailed letters father and daughter sent back and forth. I am amazed by her courage. I could do that and wonder why we don't treat our teenage girls like they could do that?
  • (3/5)
    Roberts strives to fill in some of the most glaring gaps in the history of Revolution-era America, and her effort is well-spent if limited. She acknowledges that her subjects are a very narrow and elite study, but there's nevertheless much to be enjoyed when the topic is Abigail Adams and her often equally witty cohort. The book unfortunately reads sometime like an early graduate school research paper -- Roberts' excitement about the topic unfortunately trumps her editing and often throwaway anecdotes leave the reader wondering about their relevance to the book's project. However, she humanizes the Founding Mothers (and by that token, the Fathers too) and though she might paint them with too rosy a brush once in a while (it's hard to believe that they were lead constantly by purely patriotic sentiments or commitment to their husbands) it's a relaxing, revealing read with a hefty dose of historical empowerment to go along.
  • (4/5)
    This is a well-written, well researched historical account of women of consequence behind the founding fathers of the United States from the days of the drafting of the Constitution and early presidencies. Much of the information was gleaned from writings of the men, well-known and well documented, as many of the women either did not write or had their writings destroyed for various reasons. History is what it is, and aside from some of the myriad interactions among these early characters, much of which has escaped historical note is indeed interesting if not particularly important.Roberts would have treated each woman as a separate biography except that there is an amazing amount of overlap and interaction among the cast of characters which often causes some chronological displacement. Nevertheless, this is a book that had to be written and is a good read for those interested in female historical figures as well as the all too often lack of moral and ethical conduct of the men of their lives.
  • (1/5)
    Had an interesting premise...but I could not get past the way the book was organized and written.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fascinating book about some of the women that helped forge America.

    It just took me awhile to read it, and finally I switched to the audiobook, which I found to be really good. It was read by the author and it was a fine narration.

    I found about women that I didn't know anything about and some I did. It is interesting to read if you like American history.
  • (5/5)
    arrgh... why didn't this save my review!?! anyway, I'll try again:I loved this book. Great book. Interesting to hear about historical events from a different view.One drawback : listening to this in the car was hard. The narrator's voice oscillated back and forth from soft to loud and, with all the road noise, I missed bits of the story. Listen to this in a quieter environment.
  • (4/5)
    What I was expecting was a series of biographies of the women who worked alongside the men who were founders of America. What I got was an history of the founding of the country as told through the stories of the women. I enjoyed it a great deal and happier with the history lesson than the biographies I expected.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (2/5)
    I looked forward to reading this book, but I felt the arrangement of the information was disjointed and poorly organized.
  • (4/5)
    Biographical sketches of several women from the Revolutionary War era present the hardships, dangers, and influence they carried in the early years of our nation. These women were not passive onlookers from afar, but rather strongly passionate patriots, and in some cases becoming soldiers in that war. Roberts' commentary on excerpts from written correspondence of the time, compiled with additional research, give the reader an intimate view into the thoughts and ideals of these courageous Americans. This book includes a brief history of "The Sentiments of an American Woman" and its role in serving the Revolutionary War soldier.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    This book is well researched but is boring to read. I didn't feel like I learned very much from it.
  • (4/5)
    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!
  • (3/5)
    Audiobook - This was an interesting book with facts about the women behind our Founding Fathers.
  • (3/5)
    This was a nice read about the women of the founding generation. I had gone into this book expecting that it would be set up in a way that would provide the reader with a number of short biographies of the wives and mothers of the period. Instead, it was set up chronologically, which at first glance makes sense. However, it made for more difficult reading as the narrative seemed to be all over the place. We would have three paragraphs about one woman, and in the next paragraph, there would be a sudden switch to a new woman. For me personally, it made for choppy reading.

    I offer that criticism with love however as I did enjoy many parts of the book. There were many nuggets sprinkled in throughout the story that had me smiling, and I did not have a problem with the random sidebars of the author who wrote as if she was a friend of these women. Recommended for the popular reader, but not for a more serious historical scholar.
  • (5/5)
    This book was just what was needed to pull me out of a reading slump. Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts is an account of the women who supported and helped shape the development of the democratic government in the United States. While I initially thought that this would yield minimal new information considering how heavily this period of time was covered during my schooldays I discovered just how wrong (and ignorant) I was especially in regards to the women. I realized that it had never occurred to me to wonder just how long the absences of these women's husbands were during the creation of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution (including the Articles of the Confederation), and the U.S. government as a whole. Not to mention how absolutely strong-willed and informed these women were about the affairs of state (which was beneficial as they passed on the latest news to their husbands through extensive letter writing). Best couple award goes to George and Martha Washington who were the most well-adjusted and steadfast couple of the lot. Martha went everywhere George went including Valley Forge where she was instrumental in keeping the morale of the men up (and getting them to stay at all) as well as organizing other women into organized sewing groups to keep the troops clothed. Favorite woman of the many discussed was hands down Abigail Adams who not only had the keenest mind but also the sharpest tongue. She had no problem telling John where to go and letting him know that just because he was away didn't mean that the romance in their relationship needed to suffer. In fact, theirs was the most strained relationship of all as John was in high demand and for the majority of their marriage they were separated as he worked tirelessly in his work as a member of the Continental Congress and then later as the Vice President. If you, like me, love reading about confident women and relish learning new things about a slice of history you thought you had thoroughly mapped then I must point you in the direction of Founding Mothers. 10/10PS Benjamin Franklin was the worst.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (2/5)
    This is more of a dicey, brief history of the American Revolution rather than an account of the women who helped found the country.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this overview of the fascinating women who directly and indirectly shaped the Revolution and our founding principals. My only (ironic) complaint is that there were so many wonderful characters, it was hard to keep track.