Cover image for Frances Perkins : champion of the New Deal
Frances Perkins : champion of the New Deal
Pasachoff, Naomi E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
157 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
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HD8073.P38 P37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
HD8073.P38 P37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Frances Perkins (1880-1965) was the first woman appointed to a U.S. cabinet post and the longest-serving Secretary of Labor. Perkins had a long and illustrious record as a social activist: she reorganized New York state's factory inspections system, advocated the Workmen's Compensation Act,and promoted the legislative protection of women and child laborers. As U.S. Secretary of Labor under Roosevelt she helped develop major New Deal legislation, including the Social Security Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Always regarded with some hostility by both organized labor and thebusiness community, Perkins survived an attempt to impeach her in 1939. As one of the most distinguished and trailblazing women in the history of American government, Perkins is often studied in American history classes. Moreover, her career touched on issues key to our current debates aboutgovernment and social policy. This book is richly illustrated with documents and rare photographs. Oxford Portraits is a new series of biographies for young adults. Written by prominent writers and historians, each of these titles is designed to supplement the core texts of the middle and high school curriculum with intriguing, thoroughly informative and insightful accounts of the lives and workof the notable men and women who helped shape history. Each book is illustrated with numerous graphics, photographs, and documents. A unique feature is the inclusion of sidebars containing primary source material, mostly excerpts from the subject's writings. A chronology, further reading list, andindex rounds out every volume.

Author Notes

Naomi Pasachoff, Research Associate, Williams College.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Perkins was United States Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, the first woman to hold a U.S. cabinet post. She was a working mother who helped develop legislation against child labor and to start Social Security. This book traces her life from childhood to death and includes excerpts from her writings, such as her 1910 article on undernourished children and her 1933 essay on "The Cost of a Five-Dollar Dress." An excerpt from a 1947 review of Perkins's biography of FDR, The Roosevelt I Knew, is also included. These vintage writings add insight into the attitudes and customs of the times. The author mentions her subject's mistakes and includes details of the impeachment attempt she survived. The writing style is lively and reveals Perkins's personal doubts and family concerns, as well as her unique and significant achievements in public service. Good-quality black-and-white photographs appear throughout. This book is slightly more detailed than Penny Colman's A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements of Frances Perkins (Atheneum, 1993; o.p.), another worthy biography at a similar reading level.-Marilyn Long Graham, Lee County Library System, Estero, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.