Susan Jaffe Pober's Reviews > The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience

The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey
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's review
Apr 16, 2009

really liked it
Read in April, 2009

This is an important book, not only for the history of the Depression years & the Roosevelt (FDR) administration, but as a portrait of a pioneer in women's rights and labor rights. Frances Perkins is probably an unknown name to many people - from baby boomer age on. but she is responsible for so many labor, and safety in the workplace laws as well as for the development of Social Security. She was a powerful woman in the U.S. government at a time when women were not welcome in the workplace & ostracized in the ol' boys network of the political scene. But Frances Perkins worked her way up to become one of FDR's most trusted confidantes.
Although I found that at times the author glossed over Perkins' faults and placed her on a pedestal, I still feel that this is a much needed biography of someone who has been ignored as a prominent player in the history of her times.
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