Book Review: Glory, Passion and Principle: The Story of Eight Remarkable Women at the Core of the American Revolution by Melissa Lukeman Bohrer

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Title: Glory, Passion, and Principle: The Story of Eight Remarkable Women at the Core of the American Revolution
Author: Melissa Lukeman Bohrer
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Atria; 1St Edition edition (April 29, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743453301
ISBN-13: 978-0743453301
Amazon Review: 3.2/5 stars

I picked this book up while on vacation in Boston. There are two things I can be counted on to purchase on every vacation: a Christmas ornament and a book. I read it along with several others, because there is nothing I love more than to read a book while on vacation. Being allowed to dedicate hours upon hours to devouring page after page of whichever volume happens to come under my nose is a blissful treat I am not often afforded.

But, having read this back in July, I’m finding my powers of inspiration a little lax in how to describe the book to you. So instead, I will transcribe the words on the inside jacket cover, because they do such an excellent job of explaining the contents, I’m sure I could do no better. Then I’ll share my thoughts.

Much has been written of the brave deeds, acts of heroism, and intellectual prowess of the men who drafted the Declaration of Independence over two hundred years ago, yet almost no attention has been paid to the extraordinary women of that time—women who helped found our nation with courage, sacrifice, and intellect equal to any of the famed politicians of 1776.

Glory, Passion, and Principle tells the story of eight incredible women, each deprived of formal education, world travel, or equal status, and yet all managed to flourish against incredible odds. Whether advising such men as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin on political theory; publishing poems and plays that would rouse a nation to independent furor; helping negotiate treaties; acting as spies; or fighting alongside men in the military—these women broke the limiting definition imposed upon them, much as America was doing for itself, and helped form and found the country that is America today.

Each chapter features a different woman. Abigail Adams, political confidante and wife of John Adams, used her intellect to influence her husband’s position in the Continental Congress, and earned the distinction of being the only person to put Thomas Jefferson in his place.

Nancy Ward, the brave and diplomatic leader of the Cherokee tribe, matured from a young widow to bold warrior, risking her life and those of her people when she warned the Patriots of imminent attack by Native American tribes. She became a strong voice when the Treaty of Hopewell was signed in 1785.

Yet another bright light was Sybil Ludington, a sixteen-year-old who took it upon herself top alert her town’s militia that the British were coming, and survived a ride twice as long as Paul Revere’s. And where Revere got caught, Ludington did not. Alongside Ludington, Adams, and Ward, the five other chapters chronicle the lives of Deborah Sampson, Lydia Darragh, Mercy Otis Warren, Phillis Wheatley, and Molly Pitcher.

Filled with unimaginable heartbreak, personal sacrifice, and cunning survival skills, Glory, Passion and Principle is an inspiring testament to the women who undoubtedly made a considerable dent in our great nation’s history.

I absolutely loved this book! If you are a history buff, this book is a must read. If you are a lover of stories—especially true ones—that highlight strong female characters who overcome insurmountable odds, then you simply can not pass this by. Reading the accounts of these women who achieved greatness in a time when women were expected to have babies, take care of the home, and be ladylike was truly inspirational. And it isn’t sugar coated. One of my favorite chapters is on the mythical Molly Pitcher. No woman by that name ever existed, but there are multiple accounts of women who fit the description and Molly’s legend status can be attributed to a number of women and their amazing deeds. Even more compelling, these women came from the meanest of beginnings. They were crude, crass and about as far from the romanticized version of Molly Pitcher as you can get, but I still loved them.

And if you’re thinking of writing historical fiction, this is definitely fodder for the inspiration mill. I’m already percolating stories I’d like to write about these ladies. In short, I personally think every American teenage girl should read this book. It is educational, yet a fun read, with the chapters being broken up into sections that are non-fiction writing with facts and details presented in an unemotional way, accompanied by portions that are written as a story would be, making the conveyment of information more enjoyable. Just go get the book, okay. And share it with your daughter or a friend!

My Review: 4/5 stars

Here’s another book listed alongside GPP on Amazon that might be a good companion read:


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Glory, Passion and Principle: The Story of Eight Remarkable Women at the Core of the American Revolution by Melissa Lukeman Bohrer

    • Yes they are. Some if these ladies you will have heard if, but most were a surprise to me. I’ve always been interested in female history and one of my favorite books was a book about all the First Ladies I got as a kid when we visited DC. I still have that book!


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