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We Are Our Mothers' Daughters: Revised and Expanded Edition

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  919 ratings  ·  136 reviews
“[A] paean to feminism and the solidarity of womenkind. . . . This book is a celebration of women in their various roles: mother, sister, civil rights advocate, consumer advocate, first-class mechanic, politician—which Roberts’ own mother once was.”
Washington Post

“The perfect combination of powerful feelings and a modulated style.”
Los Angeles Times

From the much
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by William Morrow (first published 1998)
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Christie
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved the parts about women in politics (especially parts about our founding Mothers) and the sections about the bond that we as women share. HOWEVER, as "non-partisan" as she tried to be, Cokie Roberts (obvious liberal) tells the Great Lie. The Great Lie is that women can do everything, all at once and be fabulous at everything they do. Being an anchor woman, a perfect mother, a politician, a housekeeper etc. while looking perfect and being on the PTA of course. IT ISN'T TRUE GIRLS!!! Books ...more
Kate Runy
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I loved about this collections of essays about the role of women is the acknowledgement of the struggles of previous generations and how women dealt with those difficulties. There are a multitude of female role models in this book, ones that I was familiar with and ones I wasn't. Reading their accomplishments made me feel that I should do more to learn about the legacies of my foremothers. Also, this helped me to recognize that the fight for equal recognition is far from over. Men who keep ...more
Michelle Adamo #emptynestreader
Anoother homage to the late Cokie Roberts-a great loss for women everywhere. May she rest in peace.

Written in a friendly, casual, almost intimate style, We Are Our Mother’s Daughters is composed of short essays sharing the experiences of Cokie Roberts herself, her friends and some history. As a member of the first generation of women post the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (in which sex is one of the protected categories) women of Roberts’ generation unwittingly became the leaders of
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Dorothy
May 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultural-history
Roberts writes about the advances of women in the political and cultural milieu of our time and how these advances came as our generation (and each generation) stood on the shoulders of our mothers who struggled and sacrificed to earn respect. She writes from a very personal perspective - about her mother, her sister, her friends in the world of journalism, and about her own experiences and those of her daughter and nieces.

Roberts' journalistic attempt to be, dare I say, "fair and balanced"
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Angie Reisetter
I really wanted to like this book... I have a great deal of respect for Cokie Roberts. There were some interesting facts in there, but unfortunately I found the personal stories, how she so clearly wanted to invite all of us to live the life she had... "see, you can do it, too!"... condescending and off-putting. There was a moment -- in which she was cheerfully explaining that a woman sometimes needs to arrange her fresh flowers in the home at 3am because that's the only available time -- that I ...more
Catie
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cokie Roberts' lifetime interest has been the advancement of girls and women. This short biography spotlights womens' struggles for equity in jobs and in pay, academe, sports, politics and more. Along with the broader story- a history of American women - is her personal story, a journey that women of our generation might well find resonates with their own lives.
Jill
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book of essays. While it is clearly dated in some ways, it remains all too familiar in others. I’m curious to see updated statistics without expecting much change. To sum it up: a woman’s place is every where.
Cindie Harp
This was the worst book my book club ever read -- and we all agreed! What a disappointment! I wish I could give it negative stars

Cici
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. There were so many interesting insights to our mother's generation and intellectual development.
Milt
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
thank goodness
Margaret Carmel
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read not just for women, but for everyone. The way that Cokie Roberts intermixes tales of women pioneers, hard working women today, and stories from her own life is a very engaging way of discussing the identity of the modern woman. When I was younger, I believed that because I would like to work that means that I can absolutely not have a family. Reading this book has shown me that it's certainly possible and not shameful to do both. The core theme of this book is that in a ...more
Veronica Schultz
This isn't the type of book I usually read, but I won tickets to hear the author speak so I figured I should read some of her books. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Her writing style is very much like hearing her speak in person, and she seems like the type of person you could disagree with on everything, but still enjoy her company. I gave the book 3 stars, but it was definitely close to 4. There were a few moments with a little more snark than necessary (because really, none is ...more
Em
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay-collection
I believed this was more personal memoir than it turned out to be. I knew small bits of her life before hand and had watched her on TV on Sunday mornings since the late 80’s as part of the ‘This Week’ program. But I never knew she was originally from Louisiana or that she also worked for NPR. I admire her for many reasons, not least of which for her common sense way of approaching problems and for being married to the same man all her life and says she still loves him madly, though they had much ...more
Peggy Bird
This was my book club's choice for this month after two of the group's members had seen Roberts speak. There was much to enjoy about it. The book details, in separate chapters, the roles women have historically played in fields from medicine and politics to the military and as aunts. Roberts has definitely done her research. The biggest drawback to the book, for me, is that it is uneven. Some chapters are engaging and full of both information and Roberts' personality, some seem to be a dry ...more
Cheryl
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a terribly outdated memoir on a topic that has been addressed so many times that I couldn't do much more than quickly skim it for our book club.

A few telling points - - Roberts notes that after the word "wife" in the dictionary, the first definition is "a woman". In light of the new LBGTQIA movement, that doesn't quite fit.

Another telling point ---the best quote in the book came from someone else, namely Margaret Chase Smith as she states "Where is the proper place of women?
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Sandy D.
A fun read, but not really engrossing or moving, except for a few parts where she talks about her sister who died of cancer.

I did like the arrangement, though - she alternates chapters like "Sister" with "Mechanic, First Class" and "Wife" with "Enterpriser", going back and forth between her life story (and her extended family's), and people she got to know (sometimes subjects of her stories) in the course of her career. Interesting people, fascinating history, presented in an easy to swallow
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Vilo
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to get this book in print so I can remember some of the "first woman to" references in many of these essays. The essays by journalist Cokie Roberts cover many topics of interest to women, especially the history of women's accomplishments but also stories of how family and friends support each other, how central those roles of mothers and daughters are no matter what else we are passionate about. Having seen women politicians I'm not sure that women will always be anti-war, family friendly ...more
Diane Thayer
I love Cokie Roberts and bought this book after hearing her speak. (an absolutely wonderful evening) The original book was published in 1998 but, even though it has been revised and expanded, it still feels a bit dated in 2018.

It was interesting to read and learn about women who made their mark in business and society long before the advent of the women's movement. Cokie Roberts researches and writes extremely well. However, when discussing the challenges still faced by women, the 20 year time
...more
Dionne
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't necessarily a big Cokie Roberts fan until I discovered her books. I was excited about her Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty books. After finding both of those at Used Book Sales, I discovered this book, We Are Our Mothers' Daughters.

I ended up loving this book a lot more than I expected. I loved how Roberts approached the subject with all of her own personal stories, and then her highlighting all of the other women in history that were trailblazers in their fields.

I liked the
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Liz VanDerwerken
I loved this book, which appropriately enough, my mom gave me. Roberts recounts many compelling stories and vignettes of women who forged new paths and created legacies in all areas of society in America from politics and business to education and labor reform. She writes about being mothers and daughters, and ultimately nurturers and how all of these aforementioned areas are places where women belong. There is so much history packed into this one book and I found it fascinating and so very ...more
Petrea
A new edition--filled with stories of marvelous women who have accomplished so much. I learned some history of the advancement of women's rights that I hadn't realized before. These kinds of books often provoke two reactions in me---1. Why didn't I accomplish anything noteworthy? and 2. I feel a bit condescended to because I am a stay at home Mom--career women I have known tend to make me feel like that. I wish women had the right in this modern society to make that choice.

Still she's a fun
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Stephanie
I found some of the histories Roberts explored to be fascinating. Unfortunately much of it was overshadowed by discomfort found in other places: much of what she wrote of was alienating (for example, talking about how she could overcome breast cancer because she had one of the best physicians in the country); and perhaps a focus on collective actions that lead to the social changes she attributed to individuals would have been more accurate. Though the latter are valid and fascinating, I'm not ...more
Amelia Kibbie
I wanted to like this book a lot more. There were some really good chapters and some that just kinda dragged on. I love Cokie and it's nice that she wrote this, and it was inspiring and empowering. I just really had a hard time getting into some parts that seemed somewhat, I guess, repetitive. I like Cokie's sharp political commentary but maybe less her musings on the women in her life. I may use some of the essays in my classroom.
Jen Som
Roberts' generalities on motherhood morph into her relationship with her sister and various dignitaries, which distracts the reader from her maternal and feminist advice. In all of her experiences and wisdom, I felt she left the reader less than satisfied with what qualities contribute to living as our mothers' daughters. If you like reading about rubbing elbows with office holders, past and present, you may enjoy this book more than I have.
Arlene
Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The power of women throughout history is portrayed through essays about individual women who made a difference like Esther Peterson, consumer advocate, and Eva Oliver, first-class mechanic, as well as the women, past and present, in Cokie's family who affirmed "the bond of female solidarity" (from Jacket). This book is another must-read for young women embarking on their journeys into careers, marriages, motherhood, and this 21st century society.
Granny (KiP)
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a MUST READ for women of ALL AGES. Roberts has gathered valuable information about the journey we have or are taking as women. In many ways it is a history of women, filling in some gaps for me and bringing up sweet and some bittersweet memories. But the stories are told with such warmth and depth that,...well it is just a pleasure to read.

I will add it to a list I'm compiling of must reads for my grandchildren.
Anne
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intresting after reading the reviews, i think depending on age and how you grew up determines how you feel about this book. My first interview for a teaching job I was asked if I planned on getting pregnant soon. My husband and I could not teach in the same town even tho he was high school and I was elementary. I loved her insights into life. Was amazed on dates we were allowed to enter certain places. I had to think did I have women profs in college...
Marilyn
She's trying to answer the question of "a woman's place" by looking at her own experiences and those throughout history. Some of the examples I read in her "Founding Mothers" book. There's a really beautiful chapter about her relationship with her sis and her eventual death due to cancer. I enjoyed reading her memories of her family growing up and her reflections on raising her kids. It helps me to hear what was important to different people, how we are similar, how we are different.
Sara
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
It's astonishing to learn how recently most of the changes for women have taken place, like owning our own property along with the chances for all types of careers. Even at my age, I didn't realize that just about everything we now take for granted became law in the past 60-70 years. A lot more needs to be done, of course. Cokie Roberts details many different occupations through her interviews with women who lived through and helped facilitate the changes.
Amanda
Jun 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Cokie Roberts
Recommended to Amanda by: No one.
I read Founding Mothers and loved it, so I decided to grab this one at the library.

To be truthful, I found this book tedious after I figured out she was just going to talk about the successful woman and not those that are out there struggling making an honest life for themselves and others. I would highly reccommend her other book "Founding Mothers" over this one. However, it was a fast read, so it didn't take much of my time.
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Cokie Roberts was an American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for National Public Radio and ABC News, with prominent positions on Morning Edition, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, World News Tonight, and This Week.