October 2014: Take a Peek Inside “The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers”

6385When it comes to the Revolutionary era, there’s no better storyteller than best-selling novelist Tom Fleming.

His fascinating, in-depth tales are page-turners—especially his “The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers.” What did George Washington do that amazed Fleming? What did John Adams’ mother do that had a negative impact on her presidential son? And who is Fleming’s favorite Founding Father?

I enjoyed every page of this fascinating book, and I think you will, too. First, take a look at the interview that my GratefulAmericanTV.com co-host Hope Katz Gibbs and I did with Tom by clicking here.

Also this past month, I was honored to be interviewed by Jim Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. At the helm of this organization since 1997, Basker has overseen the development of history education initiatives nationwide—plus seminars for history teachers, traveling exhibitions, digital archives, and the National History Teacher of the Year Award program. Click here to learn more.

We leave you with this fascinating fact from this month in history: October 17, 1777 — British Gen. John Burgoyne and his entire army of 5,700 men surrender to the Americans, led by Major Gen. Horatio Gates, after the Battles of Saratoga. The British are then marched to Boston, placed on ships, and sent back to England after swearing not to serve again in the war against America.

DavidBruceSmith_photo_MtVernonNews of the American victory at Saratoga soon travels to Europe and boosts support of the American cause. In Paris the victory is celebrated as if it had been a French victory. Benjamin Franklin is received by the French Royal Court. France then recognizes America’s independence.

Here’s to restoring enthusiasm in American history! — David Bruce Smith, president and chairman of the board, Grateful American Foundation.

Novelist Thomas Fleming Takes Us Inside “The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers”


Grateful American™ Series

Historian and Novelist Thomas Fleming Brings the Founding Fathers to Life

Tom Fleming“How do you write a book?” 24-year-old Thomas Fleming asked best-selling writer Fulton Oursler in 1951.

“Write four pages a day,” Oursler said. “Every day except Sunday. Whether you feel like it or not. Inspiration consists of putting the seat of your pants on the chair at your desk.”

Fleming has followed this advice to good effect. His book, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers, is his 50th published work. Twenty-three of his books have been novels, and he is the only writer in the history of the Book of the Month Club to have main selections in fiction and nonfiction. Many have won prizes.

He received the Burack Prize from Boston University for lifetime achievement in American History. In nonfiction, he has specialized in the American Revolution. He sees “Intimate Lives” as a perfect combination of his dual talents as a novelist and historian. His wife, Alice Fleming, is also a gifted author.

“Novelists focus on the intimate side of life,” says Fleming, who was born in Jersey City, the son of a local politician. “This is the first time anyone has looked at the intimate side of the lives of these famous Americans with a historian’s eyes.”

Signs of the Times

When it comes to the Revolutionary era, there’s no better storyteller than Thomas Fleming, now a best-selling author. In fact, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers is one of the books that Grateful American™ Series co-hosts David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs focused on during their interview with Fleming in New York City, Fleming’s home town.

The co-hosts of The Grateful American™ TV Show couldn’t have found a better spot for the interview than the formal dining room of Alexander Hamilton’s home, The Grange. Besides being a Founding Father, Hamilton established the nation’s financial system, and he was Secretary of the Treasury and chief of staff to Gen. George Washington.

Check out TV episodes about Hamilton and other important early Americans on GratefulAmericanTV.com.

Click here to watch the entire interview with Thomas Fleming — and find answers to these questions:

  • What were the lives of the great figures in American history really like, including George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison?
  • What role did the Founding Mothers play in the lives of these famous men—such as George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, not a particularly affectionate woman?
  • How do the customs of the 18th century differ from today’s, including courting, medicine, and hygiene?
  • What makes it so important that these stories live on—especially in the minds of kids?
  • How can parents help their kids develop a passion for history?
  • Plus, you’ll learn 3 important ideas about the Founding Fathers and Mothers that your family can talk about tonight at the dinner table.

Here’s to making history come to life: www.GratefulAmericanSeries.com.