Saturday, December 12, 2009

Abigail Adams Biography: (Winter) Break Reading?

It is exam season for those of us in academia, whether we are in the northern hemisphere or southern. 

A motivational carrot for me is listing books I'll read when the grading is finished.  So, this review from NYT makes the new biography of Abigail Adams sound especially tempting; it begins:

Best known for reminding her husband, John, and his fellow revolutionaries in 1776 to “remember the ladies,” Abigail Adams made a far more rebellious statement 40 years later. At age 71, she wrote her will, ignoring the fact that the document had no legal standing whatsoever. Since husbands at that time controlled family property, she technically had nothing to bequeath.


An excerpt of the book is here or here, and more info here and here.

I'll be reading it to think about Abigail's status as one of the "framers" and possible originalist arguments.


Books, Gender, History, Interpretation, Scholarship, Theory | Permalink

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