Customer Reviews for

The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Quick! Who was Frances Perkins??

    If you work a 40-hour work week, have ever received unemployment benefits (or felt safer because they would be available if needed), have a restroom available to you at work, know anyone who is or has collected Social Security or Workers' Compensation, are protected by fire and occupancy laws,and are aware that 8-year-olds no longer work in dangerous mills and are now required to attend school...that's just part of who Frances Perkins was.

    This long overdue biography serves as tribute to a remarkable woman who persevered on behalf of her fellow citizens.

    "The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience" by Kirstin Downey is a revelation. Ms. Downey researched for almost eight years in archives, boxes, numerous storage areas and libraries to produce the story of the first woman cabinet secretary who fought to improve the lives of ordinary Americans while moving in the rarified circles of society and government.

    Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, but she should be. Her influence touches or will touch every household.
    This is a fabulous book for history buffs, women, and anyone who enjoys a great read. (Note: The Frances Perkins Center is located in her hometown of Newcastle, ME and at http://francesperkinscenter.org)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    History repeating?

    The old saying, that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, applies in this case. There were parts of this book describing the run-up to the Great Depression that actually gave me the shivers. I thought I was reading recent headlines, not incidents from the 1930s. The sad part is that there are no Frances Perkins or FDRs around to help us today.

    Frances Perkins herself is an incredibly interesting woman with a fascinating life and career. Would that we had another like her today.

    This book is very readable and interesting, the writing is clear and concise. A good read about a time and people we should all know much more about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Well researched and written

    A fresh insight to the New Deal and a long overdue recognition to a remarkable lady.

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    Posted June 21, 2013

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