"Kirstin Downey has given us a rich, nuanced portrait of one of the most significant figures of the Age of Roosevelt." —JON MEACHAM, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Based on nine years of research, and exclusive access to Perkins’s family members and friends, this biography is the first complete portrait of Frances Perkins, who was named Secretary of Labor by FDR in 1933.
Kirstin Downey is an award-winning journalist who was a business writer at the Washington Post from 1988 to 2008. Downey's work has focused on illuminating the human implications of important financial trends, particularly boom and bust cycles in the modern economy. More about Kirstin
economics panelist with Jonathan Alter of Newsweek
"Frances Perkins Rides to The Rescue - Again" Downey writes guest column for AFL-CIO about the importance of unemployment insurance as the Department of Labor reports that the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 8.5% in March 2009.
VIDEO: Downey gives a talk at the Library of Congress on March 23.
AUDIO: Host, Marty Moss-Coane plays a recording of Frances Perkins talking about social security, and then interviews Downey about Perkins's legacy as FDR's secretary of labor.
VIDEO: Amy Goodman interviews Kirstin Downey about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911, Frances Perkins and her tremendous influence on FDR and the New Deal.
AUDIO: "Biographer Chronicles Perkins, 'New Deal' Pioneer" - Jacki Lyden interviews Kirstin Downey on NPR
VIDEO: Downey gives a book talk to labor leaders on the anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire, the event that galvanized Frances Perkins to action, and Annie Valliere sings labor songs. - Deirdre Kaniewski reports
Downey and Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke at an event in the U.S. Capitol hosted by the National Women's History Museum
"Journalist Lectures on FDR's Labor Sec. Frances Perkins" - Cameron Breen reports
Photo: Downey speaks at the AFL-CIO on the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. (Photo Credit: Joe Kekeris/AFL-CIO)
"Kirstin Downey's lively, substantive and — dare I say — inspiring new biography of Perkins, called The Woman Behind the New Deal, not only illuminates Perkins' career but also deepens the known contradictions of Roosevelt's character" -Maureen Corrigan
"Kirstin Downey's excellent new biography of Perkins, The Woman Behind the New Deal, is timed perfectly as the U.S. faces the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression." - Dierdre Donahue
"a shrewd, appreciative biography...." - Wendy Smith
"Team of Rivals Redux: How four men and one woman, with very different backgrounds and views, shaped the New Deal." -Lizabeth Cohen
"Frances Perkins biography reveals untold story of woman who developed significant policy under FDR" -Mary Leonard
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