Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Founding Mothers: My Review

Founding Mothers: Women of America in the Revolutionary Era I picked up this book several years ago when I went with my son and his class to Washington DC.  I've started it a couple of times but never finished it.  I decided to give it another try this week.

Founding Mothers: Women of America in the Revolutionary Era is, as the name implies, about colonial women.  While it mentions lots of names, most of them aren't women of whom you have heard, and most are mentioned only in passing.  In other words, you won't know much about any particular person but you'll learn a lot about the lives of women at all strata of society during the formative years of our nation.

What I found most interesting about the book was the overall thesis that during those early years in our history women, while definitely not equal to men, were involved in both the economic and political sphere.  They were also an important, though unofficial, part of the military--and they and their children received rations from the Army.  Even rich women weren't the fainting weaklings found in Gone With the Wind (which was set 100 years later).

The book had chapters on making a home, making money, women's roles and women's rights, as well as chapters on the lives of Black and Native American women and it compared and contrasted Loyalist women and the Daughters of Liberty.  After looking at women during the Revolutionary War the book concludes with  a chapter on the rights of women.

I'm a history buff who is far more interested in the lives of ordinary people than in the kings, presidents and wars that are often studied in school, so the subject matter of this book was right up my alley.  I'm not sure what it was about the writing style that I didn't like, but I didn't care for it.  It's not a scholarly tome with high-level writing,but rather is written on the level of popular literature; perhaps even a little lower than much adult non-fiction.  Still, this is a book I'd recommend to women's history buffs.  Grade:  B

1 comment:

  1. I have picked this book up a few times as I was scanning the bookshelves in various bookstores. I have wanted to read it. I always thought it would be interesting, myself a history nut. I'm sorry the writing was not as expected. Thanks for the review.


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