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Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 8, 2008
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love learning more about our National early female role models. They stood shoulder to shoulder with the male leaders. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barbara A. Wutkee
Great book on great ladies. Used this for a book review in a society meeting.Published 3 months ago by Thora Goodnight
Although a very good history, as an audio book the author should have had a professional audio reader.Published 3 months ago by John F.
It's a great gift for any feminist or person who enjoys reading about the women in our history.Published 4 months ago by CrunchyTheHamster
Really good read. A fantastic look at The dual role of the founding ladiesPublished 4 months ago by Lauren
Outstanding discussion of the ladies of the post-Revolutionary War period. Roberts' research is impeccable and she relates the characters to each other within the context of the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Clyde D. Bailey