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An intimate look at the founders--George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison--and the women who played essential roles in their lives
With his usual storytelling flair and unparalleled research, noted historian Thomas Fleming examines the relationships between the Founding Fathers and the women who were at the center of their lives. They were the mothers who powerfully shaped their sons' visions of domestic life, from hot-tempered Mary Ball Washington to promiscuous Rachel Lavien, Hamilton's mother. Lovers and wives played even more critical roles. We learn of the youthful Washington's tortured love for the coquettish Sarah Fairfax, a close friend's wife; of Franklin's two "wives," one in London and one in Philadelphia; of how lonely, deeply unhappy Abigail kept home and family together for years on end during Adams's long absences; of Hamilton's adulterous betrayal of his wife and their eventual reconciliation; of how the brilliant Madison, jilted by a flirtatious fifteen-year-old, went on to marry the effervescent Dolley, who helped make this shy man into a popular president. Jefferson's controversial relationship with Sally Hemings is also examined, reinterpreting where his heart truly lay.
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