From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. While Abigail Adams has always been viewed as one of the most illustrious of America's founding mothers, University of Richmond historian Holton (Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution
), drawing on the rich collection of Adams's letters and other manuscripts, paints a strong-minded woman whose boldness developed in the context of the revolutionary era in which she lived. Holton offers a captivating portrait of a reformer both inside and outside the home. Best known for exhorting her husband, John Adams, to remember the ladies in devising America's new political system, she also, Holton has discovered, wrote a will leaving most of her property to her granddaughters, in defiance of the law that made her husband the master of all she owned. Furthermore, she was a businesswoman and invested her own earnings in ways John did not always approve of. Tracing Adams's life from her childhood as the daughter of a poor parson to her long and sometimes uncertain courtship with John, her joys and sorrows as a mother and her life as the wife of a president, Holton's superb biography shows us a three-dimensional Adams as a forward-thinking woman with a mind of her own. (Nov. 3)
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"Holton... allows Abigail's voice to radiate off the page; the biography grips the reader from the beginning tale of Abigail writing her own will. A wonderful book for revolutionary history buffs, women's studies majors, and biography lovers." --Library Journal,
“Holton vividly captures the brilliance, charm, and spunk of Abigail Adams, and shows why she deserves her place at the table along with her husband John and the other Founders. A must-read book for understanding the founding of our nation.” --Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
"Captivating... biography and social history. Through his engaging prose, Holton provides a nuanced picture of Adams as representative of many women of her era yet also ahead of her time." --Journal of American History