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Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic: Book by Cassandra A. Good

Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic

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ISBN: 9780199376179    Publisher: Oxford University Press Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 320        Language: English
American popular culture is filled with movies, books, and articles asking whether friendships between men and women are possible. In Founding Friendships, Cassandra Good demonstrates that this is hardly...Read more
American popular culture is filled with movies, books, and articles asking whether friendships between men and women are possible. In Founding Friendships, Cassandra Good demonstrates that this is hardly a new issue; indeed, many of the nation's founding fathers had female friends. Elite men and women over two hundred years ago formed loving, politically significant friendships. Abigail Adams called her friend Thomas Jefferson <"one of the choice ones on earth," while George Washington signed a letter to his friend Elizabeth Powel with the words "I am always Yours." The emotionally rich language of this period is often mistaken for romance, but this book's innovative analysis of letters, diaries, poetry, and novels in the past reveals that friendships between men and women were quite common. At a time when personal relationships were deeply political, these friendships embodied the core values of the new nation. Founding Friendships offers a fresh and expansive look at how America's founding generation of men and women defined and experienced friendship, love, gender, and power in the new nation.
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About the author: Cassandra A. Good
Cassandra Good is the assistant editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington.

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Review:
Of all the familial configurations of the founders, 'founding friends' is the most richly provocative. Employing an impressive array of primary sources, Cassandra Good uncovers a hitherto...Read more
Of all the familial configurations of the founders, 'founding friends' is the most richly provocative. Employing an impressive array of primary sources, Cassandra Good uncovers a hitherto unexplored realm where women were at their most equal and their relationships with male friends represented the purest form of republican ideals. Founding Friendships is a dazzling debut and a major contribution to our knowledge of early national culture. Catherine Allgor, author of A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation This beautifully written and insightful study builds on studies of same-sex friendship and marital friendship by turning our attention to cross-sex non-marital friendships during the revolutionary period. Cassandra Good shows that friendships between men and women were common, highly valued, and at the same time feared by citizens of the new republic. She provides a nuanced analysis of the delicate balancing act that friends of the opposite sex had to achieve between what their relationships had to offer and the potential dangers that they posed. This book will fascinate anyone interested in the history of friendship, the family, gender relations, the social and political history of the early republic, and the history of emotions. Richard Godbeer, author of The Overflowing of Friendship: Love between Men and the Creation of the American Republic Cassandra Good's Founding Friendships is a remarkable account of how friendships between men and women were critical to both the social and political fabric of the new nation. Good's work is an insightful analysis of the flow of power in these male/female relationships that could be threatening to the traditional understanding of a proper social order. Only in 'quiet conversations' could women convey their observations and political opinions. It is a story of the utmost importance to our understanding of the early nineteenth century. Barbara Oberg, Princeton University A sensitively-drawn study packed with insights into how men and women understood and experienced their friendships with each other at a time of great social and political change. Founding Friendships is filled with very real people banging up against changing expectations as they navigated the period's highly politicized and thereby rocky social terrain. Joanne B. Freeman, author of Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic
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