Thursday, October 29, 2009

GIVEAWAY: The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

HarperCollins has once again generously offered two copies of a new non-fiction title to BookLust readers.  This giveaway is only open to readers in the US & Canada.  Sorry!

In true Rosie's Riveters' fashion, author Thomas Fleming looks at the important role of women in the lives of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton and Madison, and how those women impacted American history.  The result is his newest book, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers.  Below is a book description.  For further details, see the book's website here:

Book Description
A compelling, 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, Tom Fleming examines the women who were at the center of the lives of the founding fathers. From hot-tempered Mary Ball Washington to promiscuous Rachel Lavien Hamilton, the founding fathers' mothers powerfully shaped their sons' visions of domestic life. But lovers and wives played more critical roles as friends and often partners in fame.
We learn of the youthful Washington's tortured love for the coquettish Sarah Fairfax, wife of his close friend; of Franklin's two "wives," one in London and one in Philadelphia; of Adams's long absences, which required a lonely, deeply unhappy Abigail to keep home and family together for years on end; of Hamilton's adulterous betrayal of his wife and then their reconciliation; of how the brilliant Madison was jilted by a flirtatious fifteen-year-old and went on to marry the effervescent Dolley, who helped make this shy man into a popular president. Jefferson's controversial relationship to Sally Hemings is also examined, with a different vision of where his heart lay.
Fleming nimbly takes us through a great deal of early American history, as his founding fathers strove to reconcile the private and public, often beset by a media every bit as gossip seeking and inflammatory as ours today. He offers a powerful look at the challenges women faced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While often brilliant and articulate, the wives of the founding fathers all struggled with the distractions and dangers of frequent childbearing and searing anxiety about infant mortality—Jefferson's wife, Martha, died from complications following labor, as did his daughter. All the more remarkable, then, that these women loomed so large in the lives of their husbands—and, in some cases, their country.

This giveaway will be open until 12pm CST on Monday, November 9th.  To enter, comment on this post with your e-mail address and your favorite figure in national history (any country's history).  No extra entries this time; I am always scared that I end up counting those up wrong!

 I will then randomly select two winners.  Good luck!


  1. What an awesome giveaway! This is right up my alley.

    Favorite figure in history? What a hard question. Right now I'll say the Marquis de Lafayette.


  2. My favorite (inter)national figure is Nelson Mandela of S. Africa.


  3. Anonymous10/29/2009

    This should be a wonderfully informative and interesting book. I love history, the personal side of it especially. These people had a lot to do with making our country what it is today. I recently read some interesting things about Ben Franklin (his stand on slavery) that, if not taken in the correct context, could be interpreted very differently than the real meaning. I'm glad that women's influence on the great men of history is being explored.
    It would be wonderful to win this book. It would give many hours of interesting and enjoyable reading. By the way, thanks for not doing those multiple posts, friending, etc. that are added to contests. For a non-computer savvy person like myself, I can never do them.
    I'm glad I found this site. (Can't even remember how I got here.)

  4. So interesting! :)

    Right now, my favorite US historical figure is James Madison. I find his role in the writing of the Constitution fascinating.

  5. Anonymous10/29/2009

    Oops, forgot my favorite historical figure. Chief Joseph, "I will fight no more forever." He like so many others in history tried to save his people and his culture. He led his people and conducted himself with dignity, doing what he felt was best for them and their future. My other person, Mother Teresa.

  6. I'm a big fan of Patrick Henry, mostly because he's like my 8th great grandfather.

  7. Oops, forgot to leave my email-- it's srfbluemama at gmail dot com

  8. I always liked George Washing Carver after reading a story about his involvement with peanuts when I was a child.


  9. Sounds like fun! And the giveaway's exciting! My fave historical figure...hmmm, I really like Jane Addams. :)


  10. I like the idea of this book! I like Benjamin Franklin for being into politics AND science.

    webereading AT gmailDOTcom

  11. hi! I'm going to say Harry Truman since I lived in MO. bkclubcare at gmail.

  12. Anonymous10/30/2009

    Hey Arti,

    I would love to get in on the history books.

    Hiten Soni

  13. What a wonderful giveaway! A figure I've been really interested in lately is John Adams, though he's not necessarily a favorite. I've been watching the wonderful miniseries John Adams that HBO produced.


  14. Great giveaway. I love American Colonial history.
    My favourite historical figure would have to be John Adams.

  15. I am a huge history fan, I would love to win a copy of this book. I have recently become a fan of Benjamin Franklin due to his great writing ability of his life and the times he lived in.

  16. Smart man to focus on the women.

    No need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  17. enter me please --this looks like a great adjunct read for my US President's challenge.

    tbranco (at) hughes (d0t) net

  18. Reading about our national leaders and their lives is one of my passions. This book fits right into the niche. My favorite leader at this time is Eleanor Roosevelt. She faced so many challenges personally, in her marriage and with social forces. I admire her so much.

    Please enter me in this giveaway. Thanks

    bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

  19. Anonymous10/30/2009

    Hmmm.... my favorite historical figure would have to be Joan of Arc. Did she really hear those voices or what?

    babasbookblog at

  20. Oooo...this book sounds fascinating! I would have to say that Louis and Clark are my favorite figures from US history, they are a duo and so I will count them as one unit! :)

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity!

    emily DOT wittenberg @ gmail DOT com

  21. What a great sounding book!
    The most interesting historical figure for me is Jesus. Ooooh, controversial.

  22. Hmmmm, tough call. I would go with Caesar or Elizabeth I or Eleanor of Aquitaine...
    There are so many.
    Thanks for the giveaway

  23. Oh goodness, my favorite figure in history? Well, I don't know if she's my all-time favorite, but I've always liked Abigail Adams (which is why I think I'd like this book so much!)

    Thanks for hosting this! j.t.oldfield[at]

  24. To me, the most interesting historical figures are the polymaths. Why limit your interests to just one thing? As a result, the most interesting polymath to me is Benjamin Franklin - aptly described as the "first american". almalena at

  25. My favorite figure is Nelson Mandela. I would love to win the book.

    teddyr66 at yahoo dot com

  26. The book sounds fascinating! My favorite historical figure is Captain Robert Falcon Scott, who lost the race to reach the South Pole and died in Antarctica.


    mdperera at hotmail dot com

  27. My favorite figure in national history is Abraham Lincoln. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

  28. This looks like a great book, so please enter me in the giveaway! My favorite person in history is Henry VII because he is exceedingly interesting to read about. Thanks for hosting this great giveaway!


  29. Oo, great giveaway!

    I'm going to go for Alexander Hamilton as my fave, although "favorite" really hangs on my mood (however, I am in a Hamilton frame of mind, given the topic). And thanks for this!


  30. Please enter me for this one, marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com
    My favorite Historical Figure .. in England.. of the Tudor family.. is Elizabeth I. She ruled effectively, as a woman, an entire country and was responsible for a successful rebirth of her country.
    And as far as USA goes, I haven't thought about it much before but I would like to know more about General Robert Lee since he is up there somewhere in my family tree.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Figures in national history must surely include people who are making history right now in their own countries, so I'll say Wangari Maathai, a political activist in Kenya. I was really impressed by her when I read her autobiography a few years ago. It's entitled "Unbowed."

    I love history and plan to read about our "Founding Mothers" for the Women Unbound challenge, so a book on Founding Fathers would be perfect to read at the same time.

    My email is emerging DOT paradigm AT yahoo DOT com. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  32. oh this is just fabulous thank you i would have to say abraham lincoln thanks again minsthins at optonline dot net

  33. My favorite would be Ben Franklin! My email is
    dmarti2620 at gmail dot com

  34. I'm would like to learn more about John Hancock.

  35. I am fascinated by Dolly Madison!

    ajcmeyer at go dot com

  36. At the moment i have been very interested in Franklin Roosevelt. Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds great.

  37. You want me to choose just ONE? Oh, my. History is my passion, and so many people have been fascinating. I suppose it's a pretty good tie between John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. I think both men had so much more to do, as well as more secrets than anyone will ever know!

    The book sounds fantastic. Thank you for the giveaway!

    krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

  38. I love reading about Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  39. Thank you for offering this fantastic giveaway! My favorite figure in history right now has to be George Washington, who Thomas Fleming has written extensively about (Perils of Peace, Washington's Secret War). Maybe I'm biased since I live near Valley Forge and Washington's Crossing.

  40. Oooo sounds like a great read--and something I want my daughters to read my favorite would be Queen Elizabeth I---thanks for the chance to win.

  41. Looks like an interesting read! Right now I'm interested in Harriet Tubman...

  42. I've always been fascinated by Abigail Adams!

  43. My favorite to read about is Anne Boleyn!!


  44. Helen Keller.

    Kimarieann at

  45. Anonymous11/09/2009

    I don't know if I have a favorite or not, but I'll say Robert E. Lee.

    My e-mail is


  46. Anonymous11/09/2009

    Hi. My favorite figure in history is the most written-about US President, ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Frontiersman, Railsplitter, Congressman, President, Emancipator, Martyr.



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