Cover Image: Sex and the Founding Fathers

Sex and the Founding Fathers

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Member Reviews

This book was requested when I was young and requested more books than I could possibly read. Sadly, I no longer have access to this book and my tastes have changed. Thus I will not be able to give feedback on this title.
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This is an academic look at the sex and romantic lives of six Founding Fathers - Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, and Morris. If you are thinking, "Who is Morris?" that would be Gouverneur Morris, writer of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and signer of the Articles of Confederation among other roles in the young republic's government. 

So Foster wrote a great historiographical look at the six men; for those who have either a real interest in the American Revolution/Early Republic eras of U.S. history or for those who do gender/sexuality studies, this is the book for you to gain insight not just into the private lives of these men but also the culture of late eighteenth century and sexual mores specifically (for example, the difference between being sterile and being impotent makes a huge difference in how people saw manhood and husbandly duty to the marriage). As each chapter unfolded, I found myself reevaluating my perception of this time period.

This book takes a look at the autobiographies and biographies that are written about the men to show the varying (almost contradictory) views of the culture at the times they books were published influenced how much detail or emphasis were placed on affairs and preferences of these men. It was an entertaining read but definitely for those who take more than a passing interest in the era and want something to enhance those more popular history books and not so much for the casual history reader.
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I have always been a history buff. I love reading and learning new things about history. So when I saw this book I was intriuged. As  Istarted reading the book, slowly my interest faded. The "introduction" was way to long. It repeated the same thing over and over and before I  knew it I was wondering if I should just give up with this book. But i read on hoping that it would get better. Spolier it did not. There are  chapters about  different presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, alexander hamilton & gouverneur Morris
I did learn a couple new things, but it was just 220 pages of talking about what other people wrote in their biographes and wheter he liked it or not. All this book made we want to do was find those other biographies and read them. Now if it was shorter, it might have been a little better.
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This book could have been a lot more interesting. Maybe it's because I'm spoiled by living in a post-Hamilton musical society, but I want more.
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