The Middle Shelf: Part 10- A CGC Guide to Finding Common Ground through Reading

It’s Thursday again CGC MiddleShelfers and we hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

In last week’s book entry, we took a look back at how previous generations celebrated the Fourth of July.  We thought that we would stay with the patriotic theme albeit through a historical lens for the month.  Much is made of and written about the Founding Fathers and we will spotlight them next week.  However, we decided because of the many issues currently being hotly debated in our nation impact women in particular. It seems germane that as the nation examines and continues to discuss the origins of the guiding documents and institutions as they relate to the rights of women, we look back at the roles and extraordinary contributions that women played in creating our country.

Additionally, it is particularly relevant since:

“according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, a total of 455 women have filed as candidates for Congress, easily topping the old record of 298 in 2012. Fifty-one women have entered Senate races, compared to 40 who set the previous standard in 2016. Gubernatorial candidates are even more striking: 60 this year, far exceeding the 34 women who ran in 1994. This influx of women in public roles is matched by a rising tide of females behind the scenes who are running campaigns themselves, not just serving male bosses”


Cokie Roberts, an award-winning journalist, and author has written two books about women who influenced the shaping of our country.    In Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, Roberts introduces the reader not just to the more prominent women most have heard of such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, and Mollie Pitcher, but she includes the stories of some lesser-known women who had a substantial and transformative impact of the men who framed our nation’s principles.

Her companion volume, Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation, continues to highlight these and other women such as Rebecca Gratz, Louise Livingston and Sacagawea, using private journals, correspondence and some previously unpublished sources to explore their accomplishments.

If you also happen to have an elementary school-aged child you read to or buy books for, Independent Dames: What You Never Knew about the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse Anderson, is worth checking out as well.