Click here for reviewer Steven Rosen's take on The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers.
In The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Fleming takes a close and revealing look at the women in the lives of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Offering some fascinating insights into the personal relationships these men had with their wives and "significant others," some of the information Fleming presents may surprise some readers. It may not be common knowledge that 20 years before the American Revolution, Ben Franklin maintained two wives, one in London and the other in Philadelphia, and that Abigail Adams, miffed at her husband's neglect, launched a literary affair with a lecherous Congressman named James Lovell.
Also, a decade before he married Dolley, James Madison was jilted by a fifteen-year-old girl, and Alexander Hamilton's infidelity may just have been a reflection of his upbringing - his mother was reputedly rather promiscuous.
Perhaps not as quite juicy as some of the missteps made recently by major sports figures and politicians, the content of this interesting book is not only revealing but also entertaining. Fleming's research is solid and his storytelling ability unparalleled. Whether writing about George Washington's love letters or Thomas Jefferson's dalliances, the author gives us a compelling and intimate look at these early American leaders.