Sunday, January 5, 2020

Review of "Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation," by Cokie Roberts

Review of

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation, by Cokie Roberts ISBN 9780060780050

Five out of five stars

 As the title indicates, this is a book about ten of the women that played major roles in the early years of the English settlement of the east coast of North America up through the presidency of John Quincy Adams. Three of the women were able to make a difference due to their being related to American presidents, specifically Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. Another woman that is featured is the Native American woman Sacagawea. She joined the Lewis and Clark expedition and despite giving birth on the journey, did a great deal to ensure its’ success.

 The rest are generally not mentioned in the history books. For example, there is Lucy Terry Prince, a black woman poet and former slave. Judith Sargent Murray wrote a series of essays about the equality of the sexes under the pen name “The Gleaner.” Not even her husband knew that she was writing the material. When they were to be put into a book, she sought and was given assistance from President George Washington and Vice President John Adams. Isabella Graham was instrumental in forming organizations for the care of widows with children and orphans. She herself became a widow with seven children.

 While some of the women in this book achieved their success due to the men in their lives, most of them were able to make a difference on their own drive and initiative. Generally, against great odds and social resistance. This is a good book for young people, as they will learn about women of substance that generally are not mentioned in the history books.

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