Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | November 7, 2014

    Karelia Stetz-Waters: IMG The Hot Sex Tip Cosmo Won't Tell You



    Cosmopolitan Magazine recently released an article titled "28 Mind-Blowing Lesbian Sex Positions." Where was this vital information when I was a... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

This title in other editions

The Woman behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience

by

The Woman behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter 1

Childhood and Youth

Fannie Coralie Perkins knew by the age of ten that she would never be a conventional beauty, that unlike many women of her day she could not rely on physical attractiveness to open doors to her future. Her mother, Susan Bean Perkins, delivered the message when she took her daughter shopping for a hat. It was 1890, and the day's fashionable hats were slim and narrow, festooned with colorful ribbons and topped with flowers and feathers that added inches to a woman's height.

Susan Perkins passed by the pretty hats and pointed instead to a simple three-cornered tricorn style, similar to the ones worn by Revolutionary War soldiers.

"There, my dear, that is your hat," she told the girl in a matter-of-fact way. "You should always wear a hat something like this. You have a very broad face. It's broader between the two cheekbones than it is up at the top. Your head is narrower above the temples than it is at the cheek bones. Also, it lops off very suddenly into your chin. The result is you always need to have as much width in your hat as you have width in your cheek bones. Never let yourself get a hat that is narrower than your cheekbones, because it makes you look ridiculous."1

The hat would come to symbolize the plain, sturdy, and dependable woman who became Frances Perkins, and the mother's blunt advice to an awkward young girl left a lasting impression. From her earliest days, Fannie felt strangely out of step with the women of her time, her mother and sister included. She realized that rather than beauty, she must find other qualities and skills to set her apart, to help her achieve her idealistic goals. The dour-looking figure in the tricornered hat-the image seen throughout the years in filmstrips and photographs--disguised a woman whose intelligence, compassion, creative genius, and fierce loyalty made her an exceptional figure in modern American history.

Her mother's verdict on her looks, seared in memory for life, almost certainly overstated the case, for pictures from the time depict a child romantic in appearance, with long curls and a thoughtful look. Still it became fact that when people spoke of Frances Perkins, they almost always spoke of her character, not her outward appearance.

Fannie Perkins was born on April 10, 1880, on Beacon Hill, a few blocks from Boston Common, but her birthplace was almost a technicality. The place she considered home was where she spent her childhood summers, with her beloved grandmother at a homestead pioneered in the early 1700s by her great-great grandfather.

It was perched on a sweeping bend of the Damariscotta River in Newcastle, Maine, at a site filled with historic debris grown over into green meadows, sprawling over hundreds of acres to a place known as Perkins Point. Frances played amid the rubble pile left from the old stockade, erected in the years when families defended themselves against Indian attacks, and among the remains of discarded, half-baked bricks, reminders of the family's riverfront brick-making factory, which had made the family wealthy for a short time.

Perkins bricks had built many of the buildings in downtown Newcastle and as far away as Boston. The boom came in the 1840s. But the business failed a decade later after Boston financiers bought out the brick production of a number of local companies, including the Perkins operation, and merged them int

Synopsis:

Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Frances Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. As the first female cabinet secretary, at the height of the Great Depression, she spearheaded the fight to improve the lives of America's working people while juggling her own family responsibilities. Perkins's ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare legislation in the nation's history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, the forty-hour work week, and Social Security. Also, as head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety. Based on eight years of research, extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to family and friends, this is the first complete portrait of a devoted public servant with a passionate personal life, a mother who changed the landscape of American business and society.--From

Synopsis:

Written with a wit that echoes Frances Perkins's own, award-winning journalist Downey offers a riveting exploration of the woman who was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, and how and why Perkins slipped into historical oblivion.

Synopsis:

Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Frances Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. As the first female cabinet secretary, at the height of the Great Depression, she spearheaded the fight to improve the lives of America's working people while juggling her own family responsibilities. Perkins's ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare legislation in the nation's history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, the forty-hour work week, and Social Security. Also, as head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety. Based on eight years of research, extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to family and friends, this is the first complete portrait of a devoted public servant with a passionate personal life, a mother who changed the landscape of American business and society.--From publisher description.

About the Author

KIRSTIN DOWNEY joined The Washington Post in 1988 and has won Press Association awards for her business and economic reporting. Most recently she shared in the 2008 Pulitzer Prize awarded to The Washington Post for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. She was awarded a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, where her research into the country’s economic history led to this biography. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Childhood and youth — Becoming Frances Perkins — The young activist hits New York — The Triangle Shirtwaist fire — Finding allies in Tammany Hall — Teddy Roosevelt and Frances Perkins — A good match — Married life — Motherhood — The indomitable Al Smith — FDR and Al Smith — With the Roosevelts in Albany — FDR becomes president — Frances becomes Secretary of Labor — The pioneer — Skeletons in the Labor Department closet — Jump-starting the economy — At home with Mary Harriman — Blue Eagle: a first try at "civilizing capitalism" — Refugees and regulations — Rebuilding the house of labor — Labor shakes off its slumber — The union movement revitalizes and splits apart — Social Security — Family problems — Court-packing, wages, and hours — Impeachment — War clouds and refugees — Frances and Franklin — Madness, misalliances, and a nude bisexual water sprite — The war comes — Last days of the Roosevelt administration — Harry Truman — The Truman administration — Communism — End of the Truman era — Many transitions — Last days.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385529501
Subtitle:
The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Creator:
Kirstin Downey
Author:
Kirstin Downey
Author:
Kirstin Downey
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Political
Subject:
Women social reformers
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Women social reformers -- United States.
Subject:
Biography-Political
Subject:
US History-1920 to 1960
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20090303
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
458

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
Biography » Women

The Woman behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 458 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780385529501 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Frances Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. As the first female cabinet secretary, at the height of the Great Depression, she spearheaded the fight to improve the lives of America's working people while juggling her own family responsibilities. Perkins's ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare legislation in the nation's history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, the forty-hour work week, and Social Security. Also, as head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety. Based on eight years of research, extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to family and friends, this is the first complete portrait of a devoted public servant with a passionate personal life, a mother who changed the landscape of American business and society.--From
"Synopsis" by , Written with a wit that echoes Frances Perkins's own, award-winning journalist Downey offers a riveting exploration of the woman who was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, and how and why Perkins slipped into historical oblivion.
"Synopsis" by , Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Frances Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. As the first female cabinet secretary, at the height of the Great Depression, she spearheaded the fight to improve the lives of America's working people while juggling her own family responsibilities. Perkins's ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare legislation in the nation's history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, the forty-hour work week, and Social Security. Also, as head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety. Based on eight years of research, extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to family and friends, this is the first complete portrait of a devoted public servant with a passionate personal life, a mother who changed the landscape of American business and society.--From publisher description.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.