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Frances Perkins: Champion of the New Deal

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.

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 about government and social policy. This book is richly illustrated with documents and rare photographs.

For more stories about girls and women in labor history, visit A Mighty Girl's Work & Labor section.


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"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." -- School Library Journal

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 work of 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, and index rounds out every volume.

Product Details

Recommended Age 11 and up
Author Naomi Pasachoff
ISBN 0195122224
Publication Date Jan 13, 2000
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Language English