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. Fleming nimbly takes us through a great deal of early American history, as the founding fathers strove to reconcile the private and the public, often beset by a media just as gossipseeking and inflammatory as ours today. He offers a powerful look at the challenges women faced at that time, which makes it all the more remarkable that these women loomed so large in the lives of their husbands--and, in some cases, their country.