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Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our NationFounding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I took over a year to read this book, since it was an electronic version on my iPhone, which meant I read it while students took tests, or I was waiting in a restaurant, or at a doctor's office. That may be why I have such mixed emotions about the book.

Roberts tells the stories of some fascinating women, and the men who they were connected to--a bunch of guys named Franklin, and Washington, and Adams, and Hamilton, and Morris, and Burr, and Arnold, and....But the prose style that served her so well as a Washington reporter doesn't, to my taste, work well in this book. It seems choppy, with too much emphasis on "the lead" and when she does move into what in the the news business would be "feature writing style" her lack of practice, and perhaps lack of aptitude, really shows.

Another problem I had, and this is not Roberts's fault, is that after reading dozens of books in e-formats, this is the first one where the transfer was appallingly bad. Huge parts of sentences, sometimes entire sentences, disappeared between pages. It made the reading frustrating, and that definitely affected my impression of the book.

I am glad to know the things Roberts's book revealed about these funny, cranky, smart, ambitious, patriotic women. I just wish I'd liked the book itself more.



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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
herooftheage
Apr. 20th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
I highly recommend the letters between Abigail and John Adams. There's a neat inference in them. Throughout the letters, she quotes Shakespeare, Milton, the Bible, and lots of other literary sources quite extensively.

The thing is, she often gets the quotes very slightly wrong. The inference that cries out from that is she has all of that in her memory - she didn't look it up. Just remarkable.
anglesandlight
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
I read the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a joy to see a tribute paid th the women's contribution of the conflict. However, I agree with the writing style, but saw it more as her telling me the Revolutionary news. (And I read it on paper, that would help.)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )