I like history and I always want to know more about American History. But in all the nonfiction and fiction about the Revolutionary War, it’s rather limited to dead white guys who fought the battles and otherwise founded our nation.
Enter: Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts. In a conversational tone, Roberts shares some of the stories about the women who founded the country. She, too, had been tired of hearing about how remarkable the men were founded the country: what about the women? This, then, is full of some of their stories. Roberts’ conclusion was (interestingly) that the women behind those men were no more extraordinary than you and I: they simply did what was asked of them.
The book had plenty of flaws. Most of the author’s asides and explanations were rather distracting, and it sometimes felt rambling and off-topic. I do wish it was better written or at least better organized. The casual tone made me feel like I was listening to random anecdotes rather than a comprehensive historical account. It didn’t feel comprehensive, nor did it feel like a true historical record. It was a collection of stories about women, full of sometimes extraneous detail. And there were a lot of women!
However, because I was listening to the audiobook in short intervals, such an anecdotal format was okay for me. And the details did make it interesting.
I may remember some interesting facts and the names. I’m already forgetting most of the details, and some of the women are mixing up in my mind. That’s okay for me. I’ve had an entertaining and yet informative introduction to the founding ladies of the United States. I’m glad I checked it out.
The audio book was narrated by the author. Overall, I enjoyed it, with one exception: to my disappointment, I noticed only after checking it out that it is “Unabridged Selections.” In other words, it is abridged. I have no idea how much was excised from the book, and I wholeheartedly wish there was a completely unabridged option in audio. The author’s asides were still annoying in the audio format. Did she just add them because she was reading it aloud?
Will you like this book? I don’t know. It’s casual almost to a fault. But that may be just what you’re looking for.
What woman from the U.S. Revolutionary Era would you like to learn more about? Can you name any influential women from the 1700s and what they did?
As I listened, I kept remembering David McCullough’s powerful, carefully researched, and comprehensive biography of John Adams. That’s a biography I’d love to reread. I’m fascinated by Abigail Adams, and I’d love to learn more about her.
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