Thursday, February 03, 2005

Founding Mothers: History You Can Actually Read!

Last night I finished Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, by Cokie Roberts. This was a fabulous book! You wouldn't think that it would be hard to put down a thick, history tome, but it was. I hated to stop reading each night. If Cokie Roberts wrote more textbooks, History class would be much more enjoyable.

I can hardly imagine what she went through to gather her information. There are many reasons for the dearth of female figures in the Revolutionary War sections of history textbooks. There are certainly the age old sexism issues and the lack of space (there are only so many things that can be crammed into any given school year), but there is also the big problem that very little of the writings of these women were saved. Thank goodness that John Adams had the sense to value his wife Abigail and save many of her letters! Frankly, the picture that develops from these letters is one that clearly shows that John, as great as he was, did not deserve Abigail. This book is filled with tales that are rarely told yet document events that were every bit as important to the birth of the USA as many events that are included in mainstream texts. Even better, it is all written with Cokie Roberts' dry wit and concise summation. All in all, this was one of the best books that I have read in a long time and I will continue to recommend it to all who will listen!

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