Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Paperback)
  • Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Paperback)
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Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 20/04/2017
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"When Harry Met Sally" is only the most iconic of popular American movies, books, and articles that pose the question of whether friendships between men and women are possible. In Founding Friendships, Cassandra A. Good shows that this question was embedded in and debated as far back as the birth of the American nation. Indeed, many of the nation's founding fathers had female friends but popular rhetoric held that these relationships were fraught with social danger, if not impossible. Elite men and women formed loving, politically significant friendships in the early national period that were crucial to the individuals' lives as well as the formation of a new national political system, as Cassandra Good illuminates. 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." Their emotionally rich language is often mistaken for romance, but by analyzing period letters, diaries, novels, and etiquette books, Good reveals that friendships between men and women were quite common. At a time when personal relationships were deeply political, these bonds offered both parties affection and practical assistance as well as exemplified republican values of choice, freedom, equality, and virtue. In so doing, these friendships embodied the core values of the new nation and represented a transitional moment in gender and culture. Northern and Southern, famous and lesser known, the men and women examined in Founding Friendships offer a fresh look at how the founding generation defined and experienced friendship, love, gender, and power.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190672157
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 442 g
Dimensions: 234 x 177 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Founding Friendships is a nuanced and insightful examination of both the personal significance and the political salience of what the playwright, poet, and politico Mercy Otis Warren termed 'the soft whispers of private friendship' * Anya Jabour, Journal of American History *
Meticulously researched, clearly written, and fascinating ... It will inspire both more debate and more research on the hitherto-neglected topic of inter-gender friendships. * Virginia Magazine of History *
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 *
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 *
beautifully written and insightful ... Good's book further expands our understanding of the tight interweave between personal and public relationships during this formative period of US history, showing the ways in which non-marital friendships between men and women could enrich private lives and also the political realm. * Richard Godbeer, Journal of Social History *

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