The New York Times bestselling author offers and intimate portrait of America's original first family in this groundbreaking major biography of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother, filled with rich anecdotes and stories that reveal the father of our country in a fresh and original way. The Mother of the Father tells the story of one of the most controversial, unconventional and complicated women in American history and how she handled the contentious relationship with the firstborn son who would become the nation's most revered Founding Father. Mary Washington has been portrayed as everything from Mother Theresa to "Mommy Dearest." The truth is somewhere in-between. Craig Shirley uncovers startling details about the inner workings of the Washington family. He vividly brings to life a strong, resilient widow who raised six children and ran a large farm on her own at a time when women's duties were relegated to household matters. He also shows that while Mary demonstrated admirable qualities that she passed down to her eldest son, she was also a woman who was stingy, selfish, and overbearing. Though she helped George become one of the world's greatest leaders, Mary also tried many times to hold him back. A staunch British loyalist, Mary remained defiantly so-even as George led the successful rebellion against the crown. When he became the first president of the new United States, she refused to attend his inaugurations. Throughout, Shirley compares and contrasts mother and son, illuminating the qualities they shared and the differences that divided them. A significant contribution to American history, The Mother of the Father advances our understanding of the crucial relationship between Mary Ball Washington and George Washington, and offers fresh insight into this extraordinary figure who would shape our nation-and the woman who shaped him.
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