Ellen'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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Aug 03, 09

Read in August, 2009

I feel as if this book was written with a definite slant toward proving that Frances Perkins invented the New Deal and that not only was she FDR's Moral Conscience but also the source of all or most of his most important programs. While much is made of her sudden decline in popularity with the rest of the Cabinet, no real explanation of that decline is put forth. Neither is the withdrawal of FDR's support completely explained. It is clear that Ms. Perkins was a woman of formidable strengths and talents. She knew the value of collecting data and anecdotal evidence before making suggestions or decisions. She was passionate about helping working mothers and supporting families. The book is marred by it's one-sidedness and by a lack of explanation for what happened to all the support she started out with. If you are interested in Roosevelt and the New Deal, this is still a very good book to include in your reading, keeping in mind the limitiations.
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07/20/2009 page 150
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