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The book “Founding Mothers” by Cokie Roberts is one of the bestselling books that addresses the role of women in making America great. The author has beautifully highlighted the contributions of brave women, who stood by men to work for the progress of the country. The services of females after the American Revolution are remarkable. It is very rare that historians and writer focus on the role of women in the development of the country. However, most of the women were limited to domestic chores before the American Revolution. There was not any trend of women participating in politics or any other such activities at that time. There are only a few names who played an important role in the development of the country. Unlike other authors, Robert has shed light on the services of women in shaping the United States. Thus, the main theme of the book is to inform about the role of women that cannot be neglected. Through this book, the author encourages the young women of the country to come out and face the challenges like their mothers did in history. It is a non-fiction book that helps the 21st-century women to get connected to their history and see, what others have not illustrated about the females. Roberts also encourages the women of the United States to participate in politics.
The book mainly focuses the young women by providing the details of the era from 1775-1789. It is a comprehensive book that covers all the details about the women who were equally important in developing America after the war. There were women like mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters behind the menfolk who participated in the Declaration of Independence. Roberts struggled to collect the primary data of private letters between these women, their personal stories, and diaries. Information gathered from these sources assisted the author to come up with such a wonderful book. In the presence of evidence from history, the writer depicts those women who fought to secure their family, community and their country like men did. Likewise, without the women, it was impossible to bring the United States to this position. She further emphasizes that women served in every field, they were on the battlefield along with the soldiers to look after them during the war. The women at war helped the soldiers with cooking, treating their injuries and taking care of the camps. Women were working equally to earn money. They were the backbones of soldiers and without them, soldiers could not perform so well.
Furthermore, the book also presents the women who remained at home to overlook the functions of the towns and cities when the country was at war. Roberts gives an example of Deborah Franklin, a wife of Benjamin who ran their business in the absence of her husband. Mr. Franklin would feel proud to mention the services of his wife1. However, after the war women also went through some challenging phases. After the Declaration of Independence, they had to fight for their legal rights. It was difficult for them because they had no female representation in politics. The wife of John Adams, Abigail Adams became the voice of these women and she directly talked to her husband. She complained about the lack of status of woman in the United States. Likewise, her letters are used as evidence in the book. Significantly, Abigail prompted that men are getting praised for their services but they forget that without women they could not do it. By remaining behind, the women protected the families of men at war and took the whole responsibilities. At the same time, some of the women had to sacrifice as men had. However, the writer also affirms that John agreed with his wife.
Furthermore, the writer also mentions about the female who is rarely known to the world. She talks about the girls who fought at war by wearing man clothes. Likewise, Esther Reed and Sarah Bache struggled together to raise funds to provide financial assistance to Washington's army in Forge. Roberts stresses that these are the stories that should be remembered1. At the same time, the author also talks about the efforts of women who were poor and invisible. These poor women also worked determinedly without any appreciation. Roberts acknowledges the services of the women mentioned in the book, and she also comments about the women who worked for feminism and societal change. In short, women were the ones who kept the male in line.
It was one of the best reads I have ever read. I always liked the topics that discuss women empowerment. However, Founding Mothers is an amazing literary effort, made by Cokie Roberts. There are multiple lessons for the young women of the United States. It encourages all the female fellows to come out and walk on the steps of their ancestor mothers. They have the same capabilities as the women of the 17th and the 18th century. The writer of the book repeatedly reminds that without women nothing was possible. Women were out to raise money for their soldiers and they were doing it by themselves1. Unlike today’s women, they lack opportunities but they found a way for themselves. I learned one thing that if they can do it, why cannot we. We have a platform and we can also perform well.
Roberts, Cokie. 2004. Founding Mothers. 1st ed. Harper Perennial.
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