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Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 8, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards, and in 2008 she was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller We Are Our Mothers' Daughters. Her other books, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and From This Day Forward (written with her husband, journalist Steven V. Roberts), also spent weeks on the bestseller list. She and her husband have also collaborated on Our Haggadah. Roberts is the mother of two and grandmother of six.

From AudioFile

NPR reporter Cokie Roberts pays homage to the heroic women whose patriotism and sacrifice helped create our nation. Roberts spotlights early influential women���heroines, reformers, and visionaries all���including Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Sacagawea, Eliza Hamilton, and Martha Jefferson. Narrating with vivid insight, bemused wonder, humor, and a soft Southern accent, Roberts sheds a fresh perspective upon the lives of these strong, brave women, who were captivated by America's birth and political intrigue, even amidst personal hardships. A small weakness is the absence of pauses before and after quotations (mostly from letters), which causes some confusion as to what is a quote and what is text. Overall, though, Roberts is an insightful and passionate reader who delights in her subjects' daily lives, triumphs, outrages, and humor. A.W. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616795646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616795641
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,563,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Cokie Roberts' earlier book, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, and on the basis of that, I gave LADIES OF LIBERTY a spin.

While I know a little bit about US history, Roberts' new book contains material that is a revelation. The letters of former First Ladies and other women who were on the scene at the founding of our nation provides the primary source material. Their takes from yesteryear on topics as diverse as infant mortality, foreign policy, and hats (!) gives a new and much-needed perspective on life and culture in early America.

While women are obviously and profoundly influential on historical events in America, Roberts had to closely study their correspondences to learn how. (In other words, "traditional" histories aren't necessarily helpful in this regard.) While perusing the letters of an age gone by, the author shows her eye for the telling (and juicy) anecdote, and she does an excellent and witty job of putting these words from yesteryear into context for the contemporary reader.

As what I've written so far reads like well-meaning blather, the best way to share my thoughts is this way:

Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
This is not infotainment. This is a page-turner merely because the subject matter just gets overlooked in the conventional accounts of history.

And I'm being honest when I state that I had formerly assumed that American women's history did not significantly occur till Seneca Falls. Roberts's second well-researched volume continues documenting that history was occurring well before that landmark New York conference.

I think that our school history classes and even the structure of our very sociery would today be much different if everybody fully knew and was appreciating the role which women had in shaping this nation. White women predominate in the volume, but also included is Sacajawea. She is the indian often mythologized for helping Lewis and Clark explore what ultimately became the western United States.

And what else stands out for me is that these women aired their policy opinions in an era when they allegedly supposed to be sequestered away at home. These women then obviously had other ideas for themselves--and the nation! Such is a powerful lesson about cultural expectations and the-oft more nuanced reality.

As the daughter of former 'Congresswoman' Lindy Boggs, Roberts certainly has had her own familial experiences navigating this terrain. I do not doubt it nurtured her interest in unearthing the stories which would otherwise never get told. Reflections on the historical evolution of women's status also move this book beyond a mere collection of biographical profiles.

I'd recommend this book for anybody interested in American history and those curious about women's experiences and perspectives.
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Format: Hardcover
I must be the only one who found Ladies of Liberty difficult to read. The ladies and their lives were very interesting or would have been but the way Cokie Roberts presented it. Jumping from one to another sometimes it would be on Abigail Adams and then jump without notice to another lady or it would go on several pages about a different set of ladies and then jump back to Abigail Adams which made it very hard for me to keep up let alone finish reading.
It would have been easier and simpler and less messy to devote parts or chapters to one lady and then moved on to the next. It was messy and disconjointed and I gave up after a few chapters. If you like that style of written then you'll love this book. If not you won't.
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Format: Hardcover
Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts is a terrific addition to this growing body of information. Our founding fathers contributions to the early history of our nation are well understood and widely acknowledged by everyone. That the women that supported their efforts have long been ignored or under valued by scholars is also being acknowledged. Cokie Roberts' Ladies of Liberty is just the latest of a series of books recently released that attempt to shine a light on these often overlooked patriots. Also worth reading is My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams and A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation. It is often surprising just how much pluck these ladies had. I'm so impressed with Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison that I'm ashamed that it has taken 59 years for me to discover just how important they were (are) to this country's history. Thanks to authors like Cokie Roberts that veil of ignorance can be lifted. This awakening to these contributions isn't "revisionist history" either, but a long overdue acknowledgement of what really happened.

Well researched, with varying and interesting coverage of each of the included women, Ladies of Liberty is sure to be an interesting read. It is quite obvious from reading the book that Cokie Roberts enjoyed writing this book. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Now I know why high school American History classes were such a snore. Up until now, history books have largely been written by men about only the men who founded our proud nation. Abbreviated, often sanitized versions of how events came to pass seem created to portray the good guys and the bad guys in ways that prove who was right or wrong. They were often dull and statistical, sweeping any nuance or thrills tidily under the rug.

One could not finish the course without knowing that Martha Washington was our first First Lady and that Abigail Adams was a strong woman who helped her husband John, our second president, throughout his career. Dolley Madison may be more famous for the lunchbox sweet cakes named after her than for her powerful influence on our nation's capital for over two decades both as the wife of the unpopular fourth president, James Madison, and as the Grande Dame pillar of society as his widow. Did we know that Eliza Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, was perhaps the first American political wife who would stand, looking adoringly at a philandering husband as he admitted adultery? Not likely. What we think of as heated debate and political mudslinging today would pale compared to the harsh words in the press or uttered during debate that too often led to duels in misty meadows and murder on the steps of Congress.

As Cokie Roberts neared the publication deadline for her first book, FOUNDING MOTHERS, it became clear that there was a vast, unplumbed treasure trove of historical information in the form of personal correspondence by and about the strong women of the new nation.
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